ROME - Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, has been selected as the new pope of the Catholic church.

Bergoglio is a native of Argentina. He has selected the name Francis, so he will be known as Pope Francis I.

Bergoglio is the first pontiff from the Americas.

White smoke billowed from Sistine Chapel Wednesday afternoon, confirming the election of a new pope.

Tens of thousands of people who braved cold rain to watch the smokestack atop the Sistine Chapel jumped in joy when white smoke poured out, many shouting "Habemus Papam!" or "We have a pope!" - as the bells of St. Peter's Basilica and churches across Rome tolled, signaling a pontiff had been chosen.

Pope Francis I will lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

Elected on the fifth ballot, he was chosen in one of the fastest conclaves in years, remarkable given there was no clear front-runner going into the vote and that the church had been in turmoil following the upheaval unleashed by Pope Benedict XVI's surprise resignation.

A winner must receive 77 votes, or two-thirds of the 115, to be named pope.