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New pope is cardinal from Argentina

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ROME — The Vatican announced Wednesday that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina will succeed Benedict XVI as pope.

Pope-FrancisCardinal Bergoglio has chosen the name Pope Francis I. He is the first South American pope.

Until last year, Bergoglio was the archbishop of Buenos Aires before stepping down because of his age. He is 76.

“The duty of the conclave was to appoint a bishop of Rome, and it seems to me that my brother cardinals have chosen one who is from far away, but here I am,” he told the crowd in Vatican City on Wednesday night.

Bergoglio is considered a straight-shooter who calls things as he sees them, and a follower of the church’s most conservative wing. He has clashed with the government of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner over his opposition to gay marriage and free distribution of contraceptives.

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