Tulane alumnus helped to choose the new pope

March 13, 2013 3:00 PM

Carol Schlueter

Pope Benedict with Cardinal Francis George

Pope Benedict XVI, left, embraces Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George, a Tulane alumnus, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., in 2008. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

A Tulane University alumnus, Cardinal Francis George, archbishop of Chicago, was among the 115 cardinals who completed voting on Wednesday (March 13) for a new head of the Roman Catholic Church.

The world was watching the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel in Rome for a sign of white smoke, which would indicate that the new pope has been chosen during the secretive conclave. White smoke appeared on Wednesday, the second day of voting.

The new pope, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, who chose the name Francis, addressed crowds of well-wishers in St. Peter's Square.

George is a 1970 alumnus of Tulane, with a PhD in American philosophy. In a June, 1999, feature story titled “Man of Faith” in Tulanian magazine, he recalled “happy years” in New Orleans. While he was studying and teaching at Tulane, George served at Our Lady of Lourdes Church on Napoleon Avenue and Our Lady of Guadeloupe Church on Basin Street.

The cardinal received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2005 from the Tulane Alumni Association.

One of 11 cardinals from the United States attending the conclave in Rome, George was elected to the Sacred College of Cardinals in 1998, and served as president of the of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2007 to 2010.

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