Pope Francis I: Argentina’s Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is new Catholic leader

(Photo: Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images)

VATICAN CITY - Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires was named leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on Wednesday after being elected pope. He will be known as Pope Francis I.

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Pope washes feet of young detainees in Holy Thursday ritual

(Photo: Osservatore Romano via AFP - Getty Images)

ROME – Since he was elected leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis has proved many times over that he wants to break away from clerical privilege, come down from St. Peter’s throne and act as a humble servant of the faithful.

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Without a pope, who’s running the Catholic Church?

(Photo: Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters file)

With Benedict XVI’s abdication taking effect Thursday, the Roman Catholic Church has no pope until the conclave of cardinals settles on a new one. Like many other procedures of the church, the rules for running the institution during this period are ancient and little-known.

Here are answers to questions you might have about exactly what happens when the papacy changes hands.