Wednesday, May 22, 2013
BY RACHEL ZOLL
(Continued from page 1)
"It was very moving as the names were sounding out," Brady said. "Bergoglio, Bergoglio, and suddenly the magic number of 77 was reached."
The cardinals applauded at 77, and again once the tally was complete.
"I don't think there was a dry eye in the house," said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.
A cardinal asked Bergoglio whether he accepted the papacy.
"I am a sinner, but as this office has been given to me, I accept," he said, according to three French cardinals.
Bergoglio announced the name he would assume -- Francis -- and went to change into the papal robes in the Room of the Tears, so named because many have wept at the enormity of the task they face.
When Francis returned to the chapel, "his first action was to go to a cardinal in a wheelchair and go to the back of the chapel to greet him," Brady said.
Aides brought in a platform with a white chair for Francis to sit on as the cardinals came one by one to pay their respects.
The pope declined, Dolan said.
"He met with us on our own level," Dolan said.
Dolan said he felt a strange emotion as he kissed the pope's ring.
"It's very difficult to explain," Dolan said. "You obviously get to know your brother cardinal. But all of a sudden the identity is different."
It was time to face the public.
More than 100,000 people had jammed into the square, and Francis prepared to greet them from the balcony.
Vatican workers lined up to shake his hand, but Francis was worried about a delay, Dolan said.
There were too many people outside waiting in the rain, and he didn't want to keep them.
As Francis stepped out on the balcony, cardinals rushed to the windows to look out over the crowd.
It was nighttime, and George expected a "sea of umbrellas."
Instead, he saw flashing lights of cameras across the square.
"It looked like jewels," George said.
The crowd jumped up and down, poking umbrellas in the air.
After the address, a car came to take the new pope to dinner, and buses for the rest of the cardinals.
The car returned empty.
"As the last bus pulls up, guess who walked out," Dolan said.
Francis had dinner with the others.
They toasted him, "then he toasted us and said, 'May God forgive you for what you've done,"' Dolan said.
By the time the night was over, cardinals said, the new pope seemed comfortable in his new robes.
"Last night, I think there was a peace in his heart," O'Malley said, "that God's will had been accomplished in his life."