The Pope

The Roman Pontiff, as the successor of Peter, is the perpetual and visible principle and foundation of unity of both the bishops and of the faithful - Lumen Gentium, 23.

Pope Francis was elected Bishop of Rome on 13 March 2013 and is the 266th Pope.

Pope Francis

On Wednesday, 13 March 2013, it was announced to the world that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., had been elected Pope Francis.

Pope Benedict XVI

Cardinal Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger took the name Benedict XVI when he was elected the 265th successor of St Peter on 19 April 2005. The papal conclave that resulted in his election was assembled after the death of Pope Saint John Paul II.

Election of a Pope

Find out more about the procedure following the death or resignation of the Pope and how a new Pope is elected as Bishop of Rome and successor of St Peter.