1. 17:26 The Archbishop of Westminster has celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving for the election of Pope Francis at Westminster Cathedral in London today.

    Archbishop Vincent Nichols admitted to being taken by surprise by the cardinals' choice initially, but said his shock gave way to certainty.

    "When at last the announcement was made, many of us –and I include myself - were taken by surprise. However, once Pope Francis had appeared upon the balcony with that lovely smile, his simplicity and humility evident, the initial surprise soon gave way to the certainty that this is an inspired and inspiring choice. Yes, this is the work of the Holy Spirit," he said.

    17:24 How's your Italian? Here's a recording of Pope Francis' first homily, which he delivered without notes
  2. 17:18 The cardinals are leaving the Sistine Chapel. Pope Francis kissed the altar before he left.

    17:17 Mass closes with the Eucharistic hymn "O salutaris Hostia", "O Saving Host"

    17:15 The Pope has said the closing prayer... now "Ite, Missa Est," and the Mass is ended.

    16:59 Cardinals receive the Eucharist in the Sistine Chapel

    16:56 The Agnus Dei

    16:53 The cardinals and Pope Francis pray the Pater Noster

    16:52 The concelebrant prays for "Our father, Francis."

    16:48 Pope Francis says the Words of Consecration for the first time as Pope

    16:47 Pope Francis begins the Eucharistic Prayer

    16:45 The choir sing the Sanctus

    16:38 "For the family of God, called here today, that we may all be confirmed in the Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ."

    16:38 "For the leaders of the world, that they may act for the common good."

    16:36 The Pope and cardinals pray for the Church and for the Pope Emeritus

    16:34 "But if we walk without the Cross, we are not the Lord's disciples. We are worldly people. We are bishops, cardinal,s, popes - but we are not disciples of the Lord. To walk in the presence of the Lord... to build the Church... and to confess the crucified Lord... I hope that for all of us, the Holy Spirit, and through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, that this grace ll come to pass, working, building and confessing through Jesus Christ crucified."

    16:33 "But this is not always as simple. As we confess, sometimes, there are troubles. There are things that drag us backwards. This Gospel reveals a very special situation. peter himself confesses to Christ. He says 'you are the Messiah, the son of the living God. I will follow you.'" 

    16:31 "We can build many things, but if we do not confess to Christ, something is wrong. When you no longer walk you are at a standstill. When you do not build on solid rock, what happens? The same thing that happens to children on s beach when they build sandcastles - they dissolve. When we do not confess Jesus Christ, he who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil. When you do not confess to Christ you confess to worldliness, to the devil. Keep confessing to Christ."

    16:31 "Building the Church which is the spouse of Christ. And now, confession..."

    16:30 Pope Francis' homily: "We must keep on moving in the presence of God and in the light of the Lord: build... build the Church... build the Church with rocks"

    16:27 The Gospel reading at Mass is Matthew 16:18: "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church."
  3. 16:26 Pope Francis is celebrating Mass with the cardinals in the Sistine Chapel

    16:19 Pope Francis also visited the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore for private prayers early this morning.

    He prayed in front of the icon of the Salus Populi Romani (the Protectress of the Roman People) in the Pauline Chapel of the church of Santa Maria Maggiore.

    15:58 What else did the new pope do today?

    According to reports from the Vatican, he dropped by the hotel where he'd been staying pre-conclave to collect his luggage and pay his bill.

    The Vatican Information Service reported: "The Holy Father left [Santa Maria Maggiore, where he had prayed in the Pauline Chapel] as he had arrived, with a minimal escort and entourage. He was accompanied by Archbishop Georg Ganswein and Msgr. Leonardo Sapienza, S.C.I., respectively prefect and regent of the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household. Along the way, however, he surprised everyone by first sending an affectionate greeting to children from a nearby school and then by asking his driver to stop by the Domus Internationalis “Paulus VI” near Piazza Navona where he had stayed before entering the Conclave. The Pope greeted those working there, gathered his belongings, and paid his bill."

    15:56 Some remarks from African Cardinal Napier
  4. 15:55 We'll be live soon with updates on Pope Francis' "first day"

    14 March

    21:47 That's all from us for tonight. We'll be back tomorrow with all the news, opinion and reaction from Rome
  5. 20:51 Pope Francis bowed his head after asking for the prayers of Catholics around the world
  6. 20:44 The Tablet's Rome correspondent, Robert Mickens, admits to total shock at the news.

    "This is a complete surprise. I was totally shocked. He wasn't on the radar because he is 76 years old. Benedict XVI resigned because he was old and tired. He is one year beyond the retirement age of Bishops - that is why no one was predicting him. 

    He was also the runner up in the last conclave if accounts that we have seen are true. So what does this mean that 8 years later he gets elected."
  7. Young novices waiting for smoke in St Peter's Square
    Young novices waiting for smoke in St Peter's Square
  8. 20:42 Some pics from our reporters in Rome
  9. Chimney-watching in the rain
    Chimney-watching in the rain
  10. 20:28 And some pictures of the moment when Pope Francis stepped onto the balcony...
  11. 20:35 It looks like the new pope's inaugural Mass will take place on St Joseph's Day, 19th March

    20:34 There will be an audience for all Journalists on Saturday morning with the new Pope, Father Federico Lombardi SJ announces. 

    Huge cheer erupts among journalists in press room!

    20:32 Full text of Pope Francis' address:

    Brothers and sisters good evening. 

    You all know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother Cardinals have come almost to the ends of the earth to get him… but here we are. I thank you for the welcome that has come from the diocesan community of Rome.
    First of all I would say a prayer pray for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI.. Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord bless him and Our Lady protect him.

    Our Father…

    Hail Mary…

    Glory to the Father…

    And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood . My hope is that this journey of the Church that we begin today, together with help of my Cardinal Vicar, be fruitful for the evangelization of this beautiful city.

    And now I would like to give the blessing, but first I want to ask you a favour. Before the bishop blesses the people I ask that you would pray to the Lord to bless me – the prayer of the people for their Bishop. Let us say this prayer – your prayer for me – in silence. 
    [The Protodeacon announced that all those who received the blessing, either in person or by radio, television or by the new means of communication receive the plenary indulgence in the form established by the Church. He prayed that Almighty God protect and guard the Pope so that he may lead the Church for many years to come, and that he would grant peace to the Church throughout the world.]

    [Immediately afterwards Pope Francis gave his first blessing Urbi et Orbi – To the City and to 

    the World.]

    I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will.

    Brothers and sisters, I am leaving you. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me and I will be with you again soon.

    We will see one another soon. 

    Tomorrow I want to go to pray the Madonna, that she may protect Rome.

    Good night and sleep well!

    20:30 President Obama has offered "warm wishes" to the new pope, said his selection speaks to the vitality of the Americas.
  12. 20:29 From Christopher Lamb in Rome:

    "In recent years there has been an emphasis on new orders and movements in the Church. 
    But now the Church has a Jesuit Pope who has chosen the name Francis. The Jesuits and Franciscans are religious orders with a great treasury of spiritual wisdom. St Francis and St Ignatius were men of huge charisma but they also knew how to govern and organise. They also built two of the Church's largest religious orders - so they also knew a bit about evangelisation." 

    20:28 One fact from that Guardian article: 7. In 2001 [Pope Francis] washed and kissed the feet of Aids patients in a hospice.

    20:27 Some interesting facts from the Guardian on the new pope
  13. 20:24 Jesuit Fr Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, says he's shocked to have a Jesuit pope... "Jesuits think of themselves as servants, not authorities in the Church"

    20:20 "Even the most hard bitten hacks would have to have hearts of stone not to feel the emotion of this event. I walked past one BBC who said 'I am not a Catholic but even I got choked up'"

    20:20 "It takes a lot to surprise Robert Mickens, The Tablet's Rome correspondent but his reaction to the news was one word 'shocked'"

    20:19 More live from Rome: 

    Christopher Lamb: "Pope Francis I does not seem to be a man who will have airs and graces. People warmed to him when he opened his remarks with "Buonasera" 

    He wore a simple cross and asked people to pray for him"

    20:14 Vatican spokesman Fr Lombardi is briefing the press now. Fr Lombardi is a Jesuit, like the new pope