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Catholic worshippers erupted in applause Wednesday at the cathedral in Buenos Aires upon learning that the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina had been elected Pope Francis I.
Some 200 somewhat surprised worshippers gave the new pontiff a standing ovation after the announcement, as crowds and media descended on the cathedral, which is located on the historic Plaza de Mayo.
Crowds of people and mobile television crews rushed to the area outside the cathedral where the new pontiff used to give mass as Archbishop of Buenos Aires and primate of Argentina.
"I am surprised; I did not think they would elect Bergoglio. He is the first Latin American pope and that is going to be a huge plus for the region," said Gaston Hall, 37, a publicist who described himself as a practicing Catholic.
Claudio Bonani, 42, a businessman from Brazil who also rushed to the church on learning the news about Bergoglio, said we can expect a "great papacy."
"He is a simple man, and he has a lot of compassion for the neediest," Bonani said.