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Cover Stories, News

‘Pray For Me,’ 76-yr-old Pope Francis Asks The World

The new Pope has been unveiled as Argentine Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, who will take the name Pope Francis I.

The 76-year-old was welcomed by tens of thousands of overjoyed Catholics in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican City after his election was revealed this afternoon at 6pm GMT when white smoke poured out of the chimney of the Sistine Chapel.

Pope Francis becomes the first South American Pontiff and the first Jesuit to hold the title. His South American origin is a significant move for the Church, taking the Papacy to a continent in which 42 per cent of the world’s Catholics live.

The reformist becomes the third non-Italian Pope in a row, having being born and spent his life in the Argentinian capital.

He began his address to the crowd with a joke, saying that his brother cardinals had gathered to pick a bishop of Rome ‘and they have chosen one from far away but here I am’.  He then asked for prayers for his living predecessor.

He said: ‘First and foremost I would like to pray for our emeritus Pope Benedict XVI that Christ and the Madonna watch over him.

‘Let us being this journey together, this journey for the Roman Catholic Church. It’s a journey of friendship and love and faith between us. Let us pray for one another, let us pray for all the world.’

Then he asks the crowd to be silent for a moment and pray for him as he accepts this new position.

Pope Francis is multilingual, speaking German, Spanish and Italian.

Tens of thousands cheered in St. Paul’s Square at the sight of the symbolic plumes, announcing that the successor to Benedict XVI had finally been chosen after two days of intense voting.

After hours braving the cold rain, the huge crowd chanted ‘Habemus Papam’ and ‘We have a pope’ – as the bells of St. Peter’s Basilica and other churches across Rome pealed.

As excitement grew before the Pope Francis’s imminent appearance on the loggia, the crowd repeated the refrain ‘Viva il Papa’ – translated as ‘Long live the Pope’. 

The new Pope was dressed in his papal robes and joined in prayer with the other cardinals before his appearance.

The conclave was called after Pope Benedict XVI resigned last month for health reasons, sending the church into turmoil and exposing deep divisions among cardinals tasked with finding a replacement to address issues within the church.

Chants of `Long live the pope’ arose from the throngs of Catholics, many with tears in their eyes and the crowds buzzed with excitement as the Vatican and Italian military bands marched through the square and up the steps of the basilica.

They were followed by Swiss Guards, dressed in silver helmets and full regalia.

A result on only the first full day of voting in the Papal election surprised many who thought that the process would take several days.

This was because there appeared to be no clear front runner in the election of the 266th Pontiff. It was also thought it may be longer conclave as the previous Pope had not died.

The election of the new Pope had one more ballot as that in 2005 when Joseph Ratzinger was elected and became Benedict XVI in what was one of the quickest elections of all time.

On the first evening of that election black smoke appeared from the Sistine Chapel’s chimney before a further two votes the following morning did not get a result either. However the third ballot saw Benedict XVI elected after only 26 hours of debate.

The election of the new Pope is likely to be among the fastest of all time, alongside the conclave that saw Pius Xii chosen after 20 hours in 1939.

Mail Online

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Cover Stories, News

BREAKING NEWS: Argentina’s Bergoglio Named Pope

Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been named pope. His new title is Francis I.

Earlier, White smoke poured from the roof of the Sistine Chapel and the bells of St. Peter’s Basilica pealed, signaling that cardinals had chosen a new pope to lead the troubled Roman Catholic Church after only five ballots.

The decision by 115 cardinal electors came sooner than many faithful expected because of the large number of possible frontrunners identified before the vote to replace Pope Benedict, who resigned in February.

The name of the new leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics was expected to be announced in around half an hour from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.

The secret conclave began on Tuesday night with a first ballot in the Renaissance splendor of the chapel and four ballots were held on Wednesday. The white smoke indicated the new pontiff had obtained the required two thirds majority in the fifth ballot.

Following a split ballot when they were first shut away amid the chapel’s Renaissance splendor on Tuesday evening, the cardinal electors held a first full day of deliberations on Wednesday. Black smoke rose after the morning session to signal no decision.

Cheers arose from hundreds of people sheltering from incessant rain under a sea of umbrellas in St. Peter’s Square as the white smoke billowed from the narrow chimney.

The cardinals had faced a tough task in finding a leader capable of overcoming crises caused by priestly child abuse and a leak of secret papal documents that uncovered corruption and rivalry inside the Church government or Curia.

The wave of problems are thought to have contributed to Pope Benedict’s decision to become the first pontiff in 600 years to resign.

Additional report from Reuters


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Business, Finance, Nasarawa, News

Nasarawa Assembly Passes N110bn Appropriation Bill For 2013

The Nasarawa State House of Assembly on Wednesday passed the state’s 2013 appropriation bill of N110 billion into law.

The Majority Leader of the House, Mr Godiya Akwashiki, moved the motion for speedy passage of the bill to enable the State Government deliver dividends of democracy to the people.

Akwashiki (PDP-Nassarawa Eggon West), urged his colleagues to pass the bill to enable the government execute development projects for the benefit of the people.

He said: “The total amount approved is N110 billion comprising recurrent expenditure of N42.3 billion, representing 38.4 per cent, and capital expenditure of N67.7 billion, representing 61.6 per cent, for the 2013 fiscal year.”

The Minority Leader of the House, Alhaji Adamu Maikatako (CPC-Lafia Central), seconded the motion for speedy passage of the bill.

Maitakato said the passage of the bill would also enable the government to complete various ongoing projects and embark on new projects for the development of the state.

After listening to various contributions, the Speaker, Alhaji Musa Ahmed, directed the clerk to produce a clean copy of the bill for the governor’s assent.

Ahmed (PDP-Nasarawa Central), urged the executive to ensure proper implementation of the budget and prompt release of funds to  various ministries and agencies.

The speaker commended his colleagues for passing the budget into law, urging them to closely monitor the implementation of the fiscal policy for effective result.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Gov. Umaru Al-Makura had on Dec, 12, last year, submitted a budget estimate of N107 billion for the 2013 services for approval by the assembly.

NAN also reports that there was an increase of three billion naira from the initial budget, submitted to the house to enable the executive complete some abandoned projects across the state.

A breakdown of the allocation shows that works got the lion share of N15.7 billion, housing N6.6 billion, education N4.2 billion, commerce N3.9 billion, health N3.7 billion as well as land and survey N3.1 billion.

Other sectorial allocations are: water resources N2.9 billion, sports N1.7 billion, information N1.6 billion, agriculture N1.4 billion and judiciary one billion naira.

Meanwhile, the house has also passed into law a bill for a law to establish the College of Selectors of Chun-Mada and a bill for a law to amend the Nasarawa State Local Government Laws 2003, to create additional chiefdoms in the state.


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