UPDATE: March 13, 2013 (2:13 p.m.): Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina has been elected the new pope of the Roman Catholic Church.

Bergoglio will take the name Pope Francis I.

Bergoglio is the first pontiff from the Americas, according to the Associated Press. He is 76-years-old.

Pope Francis I had these words to say from the central balcony of St. Peter's Square as he accepted his new role as leader of the Catholic Church:

"Brothers and sisters, good evening!

You know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems as though my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the world to get him. But here we are. I thank you for your welcome. The diocesan community of Rome has a bishop. Thank you!

Before all else, I would like to say a prayer for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI. Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord may bless him and that Our Lady may watch over him …

[Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be]

And now let us begin this journey, [together] as bishop and people. This journey of the Church of Rome, which is to preside over all the Churches in charity. It is a journey of fraternity, of love, of trust between us. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the world, so that a great brotherhood may be created. I hope that this journey of the Church, which we begin today and in which my Cardinal Vicar who is present here will assist me, will be fruitful for the Evangelization of this beautiful city.

And now I would like to give you my blessing. But before I do, I would like to ask you a favor: before the bishop blesses the people, I ask you to pray to the Lord that He bless me…. the prayer of the people for a blessing upon their bishop. Let us take a moment of silence for you to offer your prayer for me.”

[Silence, the Holy Father bows]

[Cardinal says: “The Holy Father, Francesco …”]

“Now I will give you my blessing and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will.”

[Pope’s blessing]

"Brothers and Sisters,

I leave you now. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me. And we’ll see one another again soon. Tomorrow I want to go and pray to Our Lady, asking her to watch over Rome. Good night and have a good rest."

As more than a billion Catholics from around the world rejoiced, Church leaders from Acadiana are lending their voices of praise. Bishop Michael Jarrell of the Lafayette Archdiocese said,

"We have a pope!” As these joyful words ring out across the world, the people of the Diocese of Lafayette join the chorus in profound gratitude to the gracious mercy of Almighty God. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, has provided a human shepherd to nurture and guide his people. We thank God for the gift of His Holiness, Pope Francis, and we thank Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ, for his acceptance of the Office of Bishop of Rome and Supreme Pontiff. Long live the Pope.

March 13, 2013 (1:00 p.m.): White smoke is now rising from the Sistine Chapel to thousands of cheers from viewers. The identity of who the new Pope is has not been revealed yet.


The black smoke rose early this morning signifying that a new pope had not yet been elected. It was the third time black smoke has been seen billowing from the historic Sistine Chapel chimney in the two days of the Conclave election process. Voting will continue until a new supreme pontiff is elected.

The 115 cardinals gathered in the Sistine Chapel rigorously follow the same ancient voting ritual that has been used to elect the leader of the Catholic Church for hundreds of years. Conclave members inscribe the name of their choice on a rectangular piece of paper with the words "Eligo in summen pontificem" — Latin for "I elect as Supreme Pontiff."

The votes are then counted by hand by three Conclave "scrutineers". The counted ballots are then bound together by needle and thread, the needles piercing the word "eligo" on the ballots, placed in a cast-iron stove, and burned with a special chemical to create the desired smoke color.

The Conclave will continue voting until a required 77 vote consensus is reached. The cardinals will be given a day off Saturday to pray and reflect if a new Supreme Pontiff has not yet been elected.

Our question to you is, how many votes do you think will it take before a new pope is elected? Ken says 8, Bernie says 10, what do you think? Let us know when you believe the white smoke will rise.