A new pope

Pope Benedict XVI unexpectedly announced he would abdicate. The abdication took place on 28 February. Yesterday the conclave started, and already this evening just after 7pm, after five rounds of voting, a new Pope has been chosen. White smoke and lots of people awaiting to see the new Pope. How long can an hour be … I was watching BBC television (or rather listening to it), when they starting broadcasting from Rome.

The French most senior cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran finally appeared on the balcony of the Saint Peter to announce the name of the new Pope, and the name he will use as a Pope. Finally some activity at 8.12pm … the new pope will be the cardinal-archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Jorge Maria Bergoglio, born on 17 December 1936. His father was a Italian railway worker. He has chosen the name Francesco I (Francis I). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jorge_Bergoglio

Argentina will be very happy that the first Southern American Pope comes from their country. On 30 April 2013 the Queen of the Netherlands will be from Argentina too. Quite an achievement for a republic.

The Vatican is a non-hereditary elective monarchy, although not many people would think of the tiny country like a monarchy. The pope is elected for a life term in conclave by the 115 cardinals younger than 80.

One of the candidates was Christoph (Count von) Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna (* 1945), member of one of the mediatised houses in Austria. Earlier this week his almost 93-year-old mother Eleonore said to hope that her son won’t become the new Pope. Although it would be an honour, the family hoped he won’t be elected. His mother fears she won’t see him anymore and that Vatican intrigues will overwhelm him. She doesn’t have the strenght anymore to travel all the way to Rome. She usually spends a couple of weeks a year at her son’s place in Vienna and he calls her every Saturday. He is said to have told his family already before the conclave to be certain he wouldn’t be elected.

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