Papal election speculation swirls amid the buzz

As Pope Francis starts his new job and Vatican experts try to find out what happened inside the conclave, life in St. Peter's Square is returning to normal.

How was Cardinal Bergoglio elected and how will he lead?

Thousands of people watch Pope Francis deliver his first mass in St. Peter's Square the day after he was elected in a secret ballot. (Karen Pauls/CBC)

As Pope Francis starts his new job and Vatican experts try to find out what happened in the conclave, there's still an excited buzz around St. Peter's Square.

"So busy, so busy," said one of the vendors at the L’Osservatore Romano newsstand.

Too busy to give his name or do an interview, he sold out of the official Pope Francis edition of the newspaper by noon.

"More tomorrow. More tomorrow," he told the customers lined up to buy it.

The emotional 100,000-strong crowd is gone – replaced by the usual line of people waiting to get into the basilica and tourist groups following flags held high – but tourists and pilgrims say they are thrilled to be in Rome at such an historic time.

Celia Luque and her family were proudly displaying the Argentine flag as they posed for photos.

"It is a big surprise to have a pope from Argentina but so incredible for the world," she said.

"Papa Latin America is the hope the world needs, the change in the Catholic Church. We need more openness for other religions, homosexual people, for celibacy. It’s also important for Latin American people. The power is in Europe and North America and now we have a voice."

Luque couldn’t comment on allegations Jorge Mario Bergoglio supported the right-wing military dictatorship in Argentina which killed thousands of people in a "dirty war" during the 1970s and 80s.

Some activists say the Catholic Church in Argentina did too little to act and waited too long to apologize. Last year, under Bergoglio’s leadership, the country’s bishops did issue an apology, but also blamed the violence on the military and its opponents.

Meanwhile, speculation has already begun about what exactly happened inside the Sistine Chapel as the cardinals cast their ballots.

Vatican expert John Allen Jr. writes it’s possible to identify at least three blocs that might have supported Jorge Mario Bergoglio – cardinals who wanted a non-western pope, moderates who supported him eight years ago, and those who sought someone who could be a voice of conscience for the church.

At a news conference, Canadian Cardinals Tom Collins and Jean-Claude Turcotte were asked who placed second.

"We don’t talk about the conclave," Collins replied, before moving swiftly to the next question.

Iacopo Scaramuzzi was one who predicted Bergoglio’s election after hearing from two insiders that the 76-year-old Jesuit was not out of the race. He writes for the Italian Press Agency, TM News.

"They explained to me – the cardinals are divided so although the resignation of Benedict indicated the necessity of a young pope, if they weren’t able to find an agreement on one name, if they would consider it too risky to choose someone who could be pope for 20 years, they could choose someone old but respectable, a saintly man, someone appreciated from left and right, someone who is conservative but open to dialogue, someone of the external world compared to Rome, not someone from the Curia, but at same time – with Italian origins, a little bit Italian," Scaramuzzi explained.

"This identikit is Jorge Bergoglio. He fits the bill."

Alessandro Speciale goes further, although he acknowledges it’s a guessing game. He writes for Religion News Service.

"It was quite clear that (Italian Cardinal Angelo) Scola’s candidacy was considered by far the frontrunner by media and by most of the analysts [and that] proved to be weaker than expected, while Bergoglio, who had been considered a second line … was stronger than expected. As voting progressed on Tuesday, it was clearer and clearer that many people who would’ve voted for Scola were converging towards Bergoglio," he said.

Pope Francis’s first impression is one of humility and simplicity, a spiritual man versus a bureaucrat who will run the church machine, but one who has the kind of determination needed to reform the Curia and handle the aftermath of the church’s sex abuse scandals, Speciale said.

"How he will deal with this, we will see in the coming days."