Associated Press reports that white smoke was seen pouring from the chimney at the Vatican, signalling that a new pope was elected in the first papal conclave of the new millennium.
As the smoke rose, crowds in St. Peter’s Square chanted: “Viva il Papa!” or “Long live the pope!”
More pilgrims streamed into St. Peter’s Square, as bells rang out to confirm the election of a new pope.
The new leader of 1.1 billion Roman Catholics worldwide appeared on the balcony of the Vatican palace to greet the public and give his traditional “Urbi et Orbi” blessing to the city of Rome and the world.
German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger appeared on the balcony to mark debut as Pope Benedict XVI.