Rome: The Vatican on Wednesday said that the new pope’s official name is Pope Francis, without a Roman numeral.
A gathering of Catholic cardinals picked a new pope from among their midst on Wednesday — choosing the cardinal from Argentina, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the first South American to ever lead the church.
The new pope will be called Francis, the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. He is also the first non-European leader of the church in more than 1,000 years.
The suspense of the new pope ended after white smoke emerged from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel. Thousands of rain-soaked faithful cheered after cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran announced the name of new pope.
Spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi sought to clear up any possible confusion, noting that Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who announced the name to the world, said simply Francis. It is listed that way in the first Vatican bulletin on the new pope.
“It will become Francis I after we have a Francis II,” Lombardi quipped.