The eyes of the whole world were focused on the chimney atop the roof of the Sistine Chapel at Vatican City. The smoke billowing from the chimney was white! This meant the cardinals have selected the new pontiff. Habemus Papam! We have a Pope!
Amid the flurry of activities, the focus has shifted to the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica. It was time for the eagerly attentive crowd that have gathered at St. Peter’s Square to hear the words, “Habemus Papam!” In English it translates to, “We have a Pope!”
The senior Cardinal Deacon Jean-Louis Tauran, who is the current Cardinal Protodeacon made the announcement. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ, is the new Pope. He is from Argentina, the first South American Pope. His regnal name will be Francis. This is the first time for a pope to take the name Francis.
The new Pontiff, His Holiness Pope Francis, has given his first Papal blessing, the “Urbi et Orbi” to the crowd of faithful, well-wishers, members of the media, and to the world, as the announcement was broadcast live from the Vatican.
The announcement ritual
As soon as white smoke was seen from the chimney, the preparations for the introduction of the new Pontiff commenced. It normally takes less than an hour for the new pope to be introduced.
From the balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica, as soon as the Cardinal Protodeacon has uttered the words, the new Pope was presented to the mass of people that have gathered at St. Peter’s Square in front of the Cathedral. The new Pope gave the “Urbi et Orbi,” his first Papal blessing to the crowd.
The new Pope’s given first name was announced in Latin (accusative case) and his family name (undeclined form).
In the case of Pope Benedict XVI, his birth name is Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger. When he was announced as the new Pontiff, his name was given as “Josephum” while his last name was mentioned as Ratzinger. After that the regnal name of the new Pontiff was announced. During the announcement of Pope Benedict XVI’s appointment, he was called “Benedicti Decimi sexti.”
The Pope’s First Tweet
The Pope’s Twitter account @Pontifex became active. His first tweet was “HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM.”