The Vatican has a new pope, as you may have heard. Francis I, or Francesco, was elected the new pope at the papal conclave’s second day. This means that the Sistine Chapel will reopen now that the conclave is over.
Here’s a quick Q&A on the 2013 conclave and the new pope.
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What happened to Pope Benedict XVI and why was there a papal conclave?
Pope Benedict had announced in February that he would be stepping down. This is as far as tradition can go. He was actually the first pope who resigned since 1415. The 85-year old’s declining health and desire to spend more time reading and researching are likely the main reasons.
A conclave was called after Pope Benedict’s resignation on February 28. All 115 cardinals of the college meet in the Sistine Chapel to elect a new pope. Here’s all you need to know about a papal conclave, and how it works. This week saw the conclave. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Argentine, was elected pope after a mere day and a quarter.
Why was Pope Francis’s election so significant?
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, an Argentinian who took the name Pope Francis I, is the first Latin American to be elected pope and the first non European in over 1,200 years. He is also the first Jesuit pope.
Why did he choose Francis I as his name?
He named his son after St. Francis of Assisii, one Italy’s patron saints and a saint who is well-known for his humility as well as his humanity. This is a sign that Francis is humble. As pope, he has maintained that same characteristic. For example, on his first day in the chair, he declined a car and security detail that would transport him to the Vatican. Instead, he joined the other cardinals by taking a bus.
Is there a special connection Pope Francis I has with Italy?
The pope’s new parents were immigrants from Italy. They settled in Buenos Aires. This is not a rare occurrence. It is not uncommon for Italians to settle in Argentina since 16th century. Some of Argentina’s most prominent figures, such as President Juan Domingo Peron and President Juan Domingo Peron are of Italian descent.
When will the Sistine Chapel be reopened?
We have just been informed that the Sistine Chapel will reopen on Monday, March 18, after was closed during the papal conclave.