The Papal SuccessionBenedict XVI's papacy ended in February. The task of choosing the next pope falls to 115 red-robed cardinals known as the "princes" of the Catholic Church. Here, NPR's coverage of the selection of the next pope.
Crowds at St. Peter's Square at the Vatican celebrate Wednesday after seeing white smoke billow from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, indicating the election of a new pope. The new pontiff, Francis, is the first from Latin America, a reflection that the Catholic Church is now strongest in the Southern Hemisphere.