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March 13, 2013
Transcript of March 13, 2013
March 13, 2013
The crowd in St. Peter’s Square the evening of March 13 was cold, wet and a little restless. By 5:30 p.m., many people assumed the lack of smoke meant it would be black later that night. I figured the same thing and worked myself to the square’s perimeter for an easy exit.
Sometime after 7:00 p.m., I called the CNS booth in the Vatican press office to see if they wanted any quotes. The long-awaited smoke appeared while I was talking to Frank Rocca. I yelled: “It’s white!” in his ear and took off looking for an English-speaker’s reaction to the moment. Then I joined the wave of people running and ditching umbrellas in their haste to get as close to the basilica as possible.
I heard a man in the distance speaking English. With just a little pushing, I worked my way over to Father Giovanni Rizzo, a priest from the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J., in Rome studying canon law. Through his translating, I was able to get the gist of what Pope Francis was saying.
I returned the favor, only partially, by telling him one of the facts I knew of the new pope, that he was a Jesuit. Father Rizzo passed this tidbit on to the Franciscan sisters near us who nodded, I think approvingly, already so taken by the pope’s name choice.
-- Carol Zimmerman, CNS reporter based in Washington, DC
My very first reaction was one of chagrin. I had spent most of that day polishing alternative versions of a "new pope" story, providing for the election of any one of a dozen top papabili; but my list did not include Cardinal Bergoglio. That turned out to be a fitting introduction to his pontificate.
Over the last year, Pope Francis has repeatedly overturned the expectations of journalists — and others — and kept us constantly scrambling to catch up.
-- Francis X. Rocca, CNS Rome bureau chief
I had spent the past day and a half in the rain on “smoke watch” in St. Peter’s Square so while my colleague, Carol Zimmerman, was on square duty getting wet that afternoon, I was drying out my feet in the CNS Rome bureau office. I was compiling contacts to call in the event of an election. When smoke started pouring out of the chimney at 7:05, the color on the old TV set was so off, we couldn’t tell if the smoke was white or black. Leave it to Twitter to tell me for sure.
Cindy Wooden, who was cranking out live coverage from the Vatican on the CNS Twitter feed, told me: “Get in the square! You missed it last time
(I was home taking a nap with my six-month-old baby at 6 p.m. April 19, 2005)
. You need to be there for this one!”
So I grabbed a notebook and pens, and ran together with hundreds of people, rushing through the rain toward the square, the bells ringing, people laughing and cheering.
I was amazed at how much camaraderie and joy there was in the square: tall people helping old ladies and shorter folks get pictures of the balcony; the songs and prayers.
When Cardinal Tauran announced the elected cardinal’s first name in Latin, I momentarily got confused thinking “Wow! Cardinal George of Chicago got elected!” But then when he said “Bergoglio,” there was little reaction from the crowd, with many Italians saying, “Who’s that?”
But people swooned, “Che bello,” “How beautiful,” and “I love it!” when it was announced he had taken the name “Francis,” the name of Italy’s patron saint. That was the moment the new pope -- who had yet to show his face to the world -- stole people’s hearts.
-- Carol Glatz, CNS Rome bureau correspondent
The silly seagull on the chimney of the Sistine Chapel wasn’t squawking, but I was tweeting. About that bird, the rain, the crowds in St. Peter’s Square and the seemingly endless billows of black smoke pouring out. I was ready for white.
Over the previous two weeks, I had spent every spare moment I had -- and they were hard to find -- preparing a list of the cardinals’ first names in Latin. The idea was to give us and our readers a jump on knowing who the new pope was since the formula of the “Habemus papam” announcement in Latin separates the cardinal’s first and last names by a very long phrase.
Sitting in the Vatican press office with a closed-circuit audiovisual connection to St. Peter’s Square, I heard Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran say the new pope was “Georgium Marium” but the rest of his sentence was drown out by an Italian colleague’s excited shouting. However, “Georgium Marium” was enough to pick the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires out from the three other “Georgium” (one other Jorge and two Georges).
-- Cindy Wooden, CNS Rome bureau senior correspondent
Earlier that day we were musing about the possibility that the College of Cardinals might actually elect a pope before 7 p.m., but it just didn't seem likely. Everyone was predicting a long conclave.
One of my colleagues quipped that if they really liked the media, they would make their selection earlier in the day, because if they sent up white smoke at 7 p.m., we wouldn't be going to bed that night.
It was my turn to be on smoke watch in the bureau that evening, and I was busy producing video of the day's events as the sun set. I had actually just produced a video about the seagull that was perched on the Sistine Chapel chimney, and marveled as it began to go viral on YouTube.
Then it happened. I started to see smoke seep out of that very same chimney, and I yelled to the others in the bureau that it was black again. Our office manager said it looked like it was turning white, and in my most condescending tone, I assured her it was black. A few seconds later, from the other room, my dear colleague Carol Glatz yelled out, "Oh no it's not! That is definitely white smoke!!!!"
Carol quickly gathered her reporting gear and headed out to St. Peter's Square in the pouring rain, while I collected myself and got to work to produce the videos that would help the world catch their first glimpse of the new pope.
My colleague was correct earlier in the day. We did not get to bed that night. I left the bureau a little after 3 a.m. March 14, exhausted, yet exhilarated. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to witness this chapter in history.
-- Chaz Muth, CNS multimedia journalist based in Washington, DC
"Habemus papam!" announced to the world
A few minutes after 7 p.m. on March 13, 2013, I saw one of the great sights of my life in St. Peter’s Square. As white smoke rose from a chimney installed on the roof of the Sistine Chapel, I was filled with joy and excitement. I quickly shot a few frames of the smoke rising in large plumes against a black sky. This was the signal to the world that a new pope had been elected. I remember thinking how incredible it was that a new pope had been elected behind closed doors but his name was still unknown.
I raced to take photos of the crowd reacting. The rain had let up and the mood had changed like night to day. People were cheering wildly, even though they didn’t know who had been elected. I was in a barricaded area for press so I wasn’t able to get as close as I wanted to the cheering crowd. In the first row was a group of cheering priests or seminarians with Argentina’s flag. They seemed to have a great deal of enthusiasm so I tried to take photos of them.
When the new pope stepped onto the balcony, I felt calm and it seemed like I was able to shoot normally. I remember seeing the new pope through the lens and thinking, “He looks like he doesn’t want to be pope.” I was also surprised how humble and ordinary he looked. He looked like a simple man who had been cast onto a grand stage but didn’t know how to act.
During his appearance, he bowed his head and asked the crowd to pray for him. I knew immediately this was a special moment.
-- Paul Haring, CNS Rome bureau senior photographer
We head to bed...for a few hours!
Sodden, with a makeshift cover for the camera (I recall it was a repurposed trash bag), I stood expectantly in the rainy St. Peter's Square during the evening hours with a group of seminarians from the Pontifical North American College, waiting for what I hoped would be black smoke that would send me home to warm clothes and warm food.
Of the many prayers that were answered that day, mine was not one of them. At seven in the evening from the crowd of thousands in which I was immersed erupted an excited roar, followed by chants in various languages announcing what the white smoke signaled - we had a pope.
I was nearly out of recordable space on my camera and had already come dangerously near the limit of my battery's capacity (not to mention my own) to function. I had to plan wisely for the coming moments, carefully allotting myself enough time to capture the announcement of the new pope and his first appearance on the balcony.
This and more I did, at once elated by the story unfolding, but also certain that I would not see home until three in the morning. Next is the video that attests to my experience on the day Pope Francis was elected.
-- Robert Duncan, CNS Rome bureau multimedia journalist
Pope Francis addresses crowd
White smoke pours from chimney
The waiting game...
The day the College of Cardinals elected Pope Francis.
As seen through the eyes of Catholic News Service in Rome.
CNS photos by Paul Haring