New pope elected

266th head of the Catholic Church

New pope elected

Rome, March 13 - White smoke billowed out of the chimney on the Sistine Chapel roof on Wednesday to signal that the conclave of cardinals had elected a new pope. The bells of St Peter's rang out in confirmation of the election and a huge crowd applauded and chanted "Long Live The Pope, Long Live The Pope". The pope is the 266th head of the Catholic Church since St Peter, the first one. The conclave was very short, taking only five ballots over less than two days. Benedict XVI spurred the election with his shock abdication last month.

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