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 "Phil Hahn, CTV News 

Published Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2013 5:50AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2013 8:48PM EDT

Pope Francis I March 13th 2013

The Roman Catholic Church has elected a new pope: Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the 76-year-old Archbishop of Buenos Aires who has chosen the papal name Francis.

Jorge Bergoglio has made history as the first pope of the Americas; the first Jesuit; and the first non-European pope in more than 1,000 years.

After announcing "Habemus Papum" -- "We have a pope!" -- a cardinal revealed the identity of the new pontiff Wednesday evening. Appearing on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, dressed in white, Bergoglio said: "I would like to thank you for your embrace."

"The purpose of the conclave was to appoint the bishop of Rome. But it seems my brothers the cardinals went all the way to the end of the world. I thank you for your welcome."

Bergoglio (pronounced Ber-GOAL-io) asked for prayers for himself, and for the retired Pope Benedict XVI, who he read more "

Pope Benedict Commends Knights of Columbus for Defense of Religious Liberty in United States
Letter to be distributed to attendees of organization's 130th International Convention in Anaheim on Aug. 7. 2012

ANAHEIM, Calif., Aug. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As more than 2000 Knights of Columbus and their family members gather for the organization's 130th International Convention – together with more than 80 archbishops and bishops, including 12 cardinals, and scores of clergy – the Pope has praised the organization's work for religious liberty in a letter to be released to attendees Tuesday.

The letter's distribution will come just two days after the Knights of Columbus – along with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles – drew tens of thousands to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe in what was described as the largest celebration of the Virgin Mary in Southern California in a generation......