115 Cardinals locked at the Vatican for a second day conclave have finally voted Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina as the head of the Roman Catholic to replace Pope Benedict XVI who resigned last month. The cardinals failed to elect a leader yesterday as a black smoke was instead seen meaning two-third of the cardinals did not agree as 77 votes were needed to confirm a new pope.
The crowds at St Peter’s Square when wild in celebration when white smoke billowed from the rooftop of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, announcing the election of a new leader. The jubilant crowd continued to wave flags from various countries incessantly as suspense loomed as everyone impatiently waited to hear the origin and identity of the new Holy See.
It was at exactly 19:22 that the Pope finally emerged from the window to show his face as well as to shower blessings to the waiting and enthusiastic faithful who have travelled from all parts of the world just to witness this gigantic ceremony in the life of the church. With all 115 cardinals eligible to be voted, it was difficult to predict the successor of Pope Benedict.
The 1.2 billion Roman Catholics worldwide have been praying hard for the papal conclave as well as to God to shepherd them select a true leader. That is, a pope who will be physically and spiritually healthy to shoulder all the problems that have weighed down and tainted the church of recent. The challenges for the new pope are many, but he would have no time to waste in tackling them starting by opening a new page for the church with the Holy week that ends with Easter Celebrations.