By Nigel J. Covington III
<NationalReport> Today white smoke appeared from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel to the cheers of thousands of rain soaked faithful. A gathering of cardinals selected the new pope minutes ago – choosing the Mexican cardinal, Jorge Mario Bergoglio (pronounced Ber-GOAL-io), 76, will be called Francis, the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.
It is the first time in over 1,000 years that a non-European will lead the church. “I would like to thank you for your embrace,” said the new pope all dressed in white and speaking from the balcony on St. Peter’s Basilica. “My brother cardinals have chosen one who is from far away, but here I am,” he added.
“Viva il Papa!” shouted thousands of faithful gathered waving umbrellas and flags. A child sitting on his father’s shoulder’s waved a crucifix. One Roman man said, “It was like waiting for the birth of a baby, only better.”