The Roman Catholic Church has elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as the new pope. He will be known as Pope Francis I. This is the first time the church has ever chosen a non-European to lead the 1.2 billion Roman Catholics worldwide. Pope Francis, 76, is the first pope ever elected from South America and the first Jesuit to become pope. He replaces Pope Benedict, who announced his resignation in February, a move that was virtually unprecedented in the church's 2,000 year history.
Reaction from the Norwich Diocese
Local reaction from the Norwich diocese to the announcement of Pope Francis I, who is the 226th pope, was one of joy.
"I join at this moment with all Catholics, all people of faith and all diocesan faithful in expressing our thanksgiving for this joy-filled moment of welcoming His Holiness, Pope Francis," said The Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, Bishop of Norwich, in a press release.
"The extraordinary events of the past month--sudden as they have been-- have brought us the gift of a new Shepherd prepared for this moment-- for this time. We are grateful. We are excited. We are overflowing with hope and a deep sense of renewal," he continued.
"As the first Pope ever chosen from South America, the Holy Father will have a special appreciation for the prosperity of faith in Latin America. Felicidades Santo Padre, Papa Francis. We welcome the Holy Father with open arms. This is an inspired moment. The light of Christ shines brightly this evening."
Reaction on The Haddams-Killingworth Patch Facebook Page
Local reaction from Patch readers ranged from excitement to cynicism.
- Mike Vallera: God bless him!! Good luck to Pope Francis I!
- Jennifer Santangelo: Good luck...he, along w/The Roman Catholics will need it!
- Swiss Missy: I'm thrilled. Very Exciting.
- Jon Ross: A new king of the stone-age wackos! Impact on me: zippo!
- David Kiphuth: Another reign of the same nonsense and lack of dealing with all the criminal priests! It is high drama of the seriously delusional.
- Stephen T Wishnevsky: Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss
- Lisa Sayers: Watching the people in Vatican City who are crying and so excited about this is almost disturbing.
- Nancy Ludy-Ginn: I'm ever hopeful for a new beginning.
Reaction from the Hartford Archdiocese
“This is an historic day, one which we all will always remember, recalling where we were and what we were doing at the time. It will be etched in the memories of people across the world. We share this momentous day with over 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide and people of every faith. It is a joyous day, one filled with hope and promise. The announcement of Pope Francis is one that will affect people everywhere, because of the Catholic Church’s longstanding tradition of providing services to people of every background," said Archbishop Henry J. Mansell in a statement.
"His opening address to us was enhanced by his immediate call for prayer, asking all of us to pray for him and assuring us of his ongoing prayers for ourselves," he added. "Today’s exhilarating event will inspire our ongoing prayers for him for all the years ahead.”