Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio becomes 266th pontiff and takes name Pope Francis

popeArgentine Jorge Mario Bergoglio was tonight elected pope – the first ever from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium.

The 76-year-old, from Buenos Aires, has chosen to be known as Pope Francis.

After announcing ``Habemus Papum'' - ``We have a pope!'' - a cardinal standing on the balcony of St Peter's Basilica revealed the identity of the new pontiff, using his Latin name.

A stunned-looking Bergoglio shyly waved to the crowd of tens of thousands of people who gathered in St Peter’s Square, marvelling that the cardinals had had to look to “the end of the earth” to find a bishop of Rome.

He asked for prayers for himself, and for retired Pope Benedict XVI, whose stunning resignation paved the way for the tumultuous conclave that brought the first Jesuit to the papacy.