Argentine Jorge Bergoglio elected Pope Francis
VATICAN CITY (AP) - The crowds in St. Peter's Square were ready to welcome the new pope warmly, but Pope Francis still managed to charm them with his first words.
The 76-year-old Argentine said the cardinals had reached to the "end of the earth" to find the bishop of Rome - recalling the beloved Pope John Paul II, a Polish cardinal who told his first crowd in 1978 that cardinals had called him "from a far country."
The former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (HOHR'-hay bur-GOHG'-lee-oh) is the son of an Italian immigrant and his Italian is only lightly accented.
Francis looked stunned as he faced the cheering crowd. He asked for prayers for himself and for retired Pope Benedict, whose resignation paved the way for the conclave that chose the Argentinian today.
He is known as a humble man who has rejected the luxuries of office, riding the bus to work, cooking his own meals and regularly visiting the slums that ring Argentina's capital.
Francis considers social outreach, rather than doctrinal battles, to be the essential business of the church and has in the past accused fellow church leaders of forgetting that Jesus Christ bathed lepers and ate with prostitutes.