Pope Francis is from Argentina *

franciscum-vatican.jpgArgentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope on Wednesday night at the conclave in Vatican City. He took the name Francis and will be the first leader of the Roman Catholic church from Latin America — or from anywhere outside Europe in a long, long time. He has been the archbishop of Buenos Aires.

A tweet from New York Times religion editor Michael Paulson: "@MichaelPaulson
To sum up: The cardinals have chosen a 76-year-old Argentine Jesuit as the new pope, and he chose Francis as his name. Wow."

The Vatican website made the simple Latin announcement of a new pope. Correcting: He will be called Francis, not Francis I.

By the way: The whole smoke up the chimney thing this time around is semi-fake — styled, if you will, for the media age. Chemicals are added to make the smoke either definitively black or white — helpful to TMZ, I guess. From Reuters:

The Vatican said the black smoke was produced by a mixture of potassium perchlorate, sulfur and anthracene, which is a component of coal tar.

The white smoke that will eventually announce to the world the election of a new pontiff, will be produced by a mixture of potassium chlorate, lactose, and a pine resin which is also known as Greek pitch.

Two stoves have been installed in the frescoed Sistine Chapel where the cardinals are voting and both are attached to a single copper flue leading up to the roof.

One, made of cast iron and used in every conclave since 1939, will be used to burn the cardinals' ballots.

The second stove is an electronic one with a key, a red start button and seven tiny temperature indicator lights. Charges measuring about 25 cm x 15 cm x 7 cm (10 x 6 x 3 inches) are electronically ignited inside it to send out either white or black smoke for around seven minutes.

To improve the draught, the flue is pre-heated with electric current and a fan helps whisk the smoke upwards.

Just like in the old days.

Photo: Grab from the Vatican website

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