The choice of Pope Francis was unsurprisingly greeted with huge, enthusiastic coverage in the newspapers in Argentina. Almost all of them carried the same front page picture of Jorge Mario Bergoglio smiling and waving to the crowds outside the Vatican.
In Colombia, El Tiempo’s headline was “Papa argentino cambia la historia” (Argentinian Pope changes history. In Cali, El Pais said simply: “Francisco, el nuevo Papa” (Francis, the new Pope). Medellin’s El Colombiano’s headline, “Primera salida de Francisco como Papa…”.
The papers in neighbouring Brazil, which is reputed to have the world’s largest Roman Catholic population, also devoted full front pages to the new Pope.
Folha de Sao Paulo’s picture of the Pope bending in prayer surrounded by fellow cardinals was headlined: “Francisco, argentino, é o 1º papa latino-americano” (Argentinian Francis, the first Latin-American pope).
And Sao Paulo’s Agora, preferred the smiling face of the Pope: “Francisco, o papa dos pobres” (Francis, the Pope of the poor). Odiario “Papa é argentino, jesuíta e decide se chamar Francisco” (The Pope is Argentinian and decides to call himself Francis).
Across south and central America, the front pages were very similar. In Mexico, every major daily – El Universal, La Jornada, Milenio and even the business title, El Financierio – splashed on the papal story. El Salvador’s La Prensa ran with “Su Santidad el Papa Francisco” (His holiness Pope Francis).
In the United States, the Pope dominated most papers’ front pages. The New York Post said the world “hails a new Pope” while the Los Angeles Times described as “A New World Pope.”