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Rome Reports

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Five years ago: white smoke, Habemus Papam and Francis' first words


It was already dark in Rome, when at 7:06p.m. on March 13, 2013, white smoke appeared from the chimney in the Sistine Chapel.

At that moment, a loud applause roared from St. Peter's Square and within a few minutes thousands of people had entered the square.

More than an hour later, at 8:12p.m., French-born Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, pronounced the "Habemus Papam" from the balcony of the basilica.

He announced that the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio had just been elected the 265th successor of the apostle Peter. He would be called Francis.

Moments later, with a surprising "Good evening," Pope Francis began his pontificate.