New Pope Francis in pictures

Argentina’s Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope Francis on Wednesday, becoming the first Latin American pontiff in an astonishing decision seen as a signal of greater openness for a troubled Roman Catholic Church.

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Newly elected Pope Francis I (C), Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina appears on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica after being elected by the conclave of cardinals, in a photograph released by Osservatore Romano at the Vatican, March 13, 2013.

Photo: Reuters

The 76-year-old railway worker’s son emerged smiling on the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica to cries of “Long live the pope!” and devoted his first prayer to his predecessor Benedict XVI as tens of thousands of pilgrims cheered.

The first non-European pope in nearly 1,300 years of Church history called for “fraternity” among the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics after the scandal-ridden papacy of his predecessor Benedict XVI.

“It seems that my brother cardinals have gone to the ends of the earth (to find a pope),” Francis said, referring to his native Argentina, which erupted in celebrations at his appointment.

“Now, we take up this journey… A journey of fraternity, of love, of trust among us,” he said.

World leaders hailed the election of a pope seen as a moderate conservative who chose to name himself after the ascetic St Francis of Assisi.

US President Barack Obama said Bergoglio was “a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us.”

Argentina’s President Cristina Kirchner wished her fellow countryman “a fruitful pastoral mission.”

Below are some photos taken by Reuters:

Faithfuls gather as they wait for the newly elected pope to appear on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican

Faithfuls gather as they wait for the newly elected pope to appear on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican

Roman Catholic faithful pray during the first mass to celebrate the election of Argentine Cardinal Bergoglio as the new Pope in Buenos Aires

Roman Catholic faithful pray during the first mass to celebrate the election of Argentine Cardinal Bergoglio as the new Pope in Buenos Aires

Roman Catholics celebrate the election of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as the new Pope, at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires

Roman Catholics celebrate the election of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as the new Pope, at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires

Roman Catholics celebrate the election of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as the new Pope, at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires

Roman Catholics celebrate the election of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as the new Pope, at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires

Handout photo of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio posing with a jersey from the San Lorenzo soccer club

Handout photo of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio posing with a jersey from the San Lorenzo soccer club

Newly elected Pope Francis I, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina appears on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican

Newly elected Pope Francis I, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina appears on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican

Newly elected Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina appears on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican

Newly elected Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina appears on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican

Newly elected Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina appears on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica

Newly elected Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina appears on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica

Argentine President Fernandez greets Cardinal Bergoglio at the Basilica of Lujan

Argentine President Fernandez greets Cardinal Bergoglio at the Basilica of Lujan

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