After five ballots and just over a day, the 115 cardinal electors have selected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new successor to the Apostle Peter and head of the Catholic Church. He will assume the papal name Francis. (Update, 5:17 p.m.: The Vatican states that the name will not include the Roman numeral I.)
Pope Francis was an unexpected choice. At gambling site PaddyPower, his odds shortly before he was identified were 25-to-1, making him something of a long-shot. How unexpected was his selection? In crafting a biography of him, National Catholic Reporter suggested that he "at least merits a look."
Until today, Francis serves as cardinal-archbishop of Buenos Aires. He has served as archbishop of that diocese since 1998 and was named a cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 2001.
The new pope's home diocese.
Shortly after Pope Emeritus Ratizinger announced that he was leaving his position, journalist and pope-watcher Michael Dougherty crafted introductory profiles of each likely candidate. Dougherty suggested that a Bergoglio papacy would see social justice and humility rise as priorities in the church.
That's echoed in his choice of name. Saint Francis of Assisi from whom the name is taken told of being visited by Jesus Christ who said to the saint, "Francis, repair my Church which, as you can see, is falling into ruins."