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A cheering crowd watched as white smoke poured from the chimney on top of the Sistine Chapel Wednesday evening.
A new Pope has been elected.
Pope Francis I was named earlier Wednesday afternoon.
Area Catholics were of course watching very closely. News 5's Lauren Conley has been at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Hastings since the white smoke appeared.
Area Catholics are excited and relieved. I first got here around 1:30 Wednesday afternoon. I could feel the tension inside the church.
Classes came to a halt as students and staff from St. Cecilia's school waited anxiously to find out who the new Pope would be. And it was a surprise.
Several people fumbled with their phones trying to google Cardinal Bergoglio.
"He's still a new thing for everybody. We have a little bit. He's known for kind of the middle on social issues and known for his great sense of charity, but we don't know a whole lot at this point. I sure don't," said Father Joseph Faulkner.
"It's just cool because having a new leader of the church it means a lot because you can see, you can anticipate the progress and how forward the Church is going to be now that we have a new leader," senior Magella Swanson said.
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