First South American Pop



  • Rome (CNN) -- Pope Francis, the first non-European pontiff of the modern era, revealed himself to the world from a balcony at the Vatican on Wednesday.

    Jorge Bergogolio, who served as archbishop of Buenos Aires, took the name Francis shortly after being elected by cardinals in what was apparently the fifth round of voting on the second day of the conclave.

    Bergogolio, 76, is the first pope to take the name after St. Francis of Assisi, revered among Catholics for his work with the poor.

    Bergogolio also becomes the first pope from Latin America.

    With its approximately 480 million adherents, Latin America is home to an overwhelming plurality of the world's Catholics. By choosing him, the cardinals sent a strong message about where the future of the church may lie.

    According to a profile by CNN Vatican analyst John Allen and published by the National Catholic Reporter, Francis was born in Buenos Aires to an Italian immigrant father.