We have a pope, folks. Well, actually, of course, it’s the Roman Catholics who have a pope. White smoke billowed from the Sistine Chapel just a few moments ago, signaling election of a new pontiff. We could know the identity of the new pope within the hour. CNN reports from Rome:
White smoke rose from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel Wednesday, announcing the election of a new pope who will lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.
Bells also rang just after 7 p.m. (2 p.m. ET), confirming that the 115 cardinals had chosen the next pontiff.
The decision happened after the fifth ballot cast since the conclave began Tuesday.
The new pope will dress in his new robes, and could make his first appearance within the hour.
Seventy-seven votes were required to confirm a new pontiff to step into the shoes left empty by the historic resignation of Benedict XVI at the end of last month.
We’ll keep you posted as events unfold.