Commonwealth Journal

News Live

March 13, 2013

The next pope: Local Catholic reaction positive

Argentinian elected as Pope Francis; first from Americas

Somerset —  

Father Michael Ramler, with St. Mildred Church in Somerset, knows the election of the Roman Catholic Church’s new leader is a historic one.
Pope Francis, formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, Argentina, is the first pontiff to be elected from a non-European country in more than 1,000 years.
“This is the first person from what’s called the ‘New World,’” said Ramler. “He is more cosmopolitan, a world pope, someone who has experience out of Italy and out of Europe.
“With the way demographics are, it’s fitting that they pick somebody from (South America),” Ramler added. 
It’s estimated that around 40 percent of the world’s Catholics are located in the Americas. Pope Francis, who is 76, is replacing Pope Benedict XVI, who shocked the world with the announcement of his resignation in February. Pope Francis will now lead the world’s estimated 1.2 billion Catholics.
Ramler said he and church staff members were going about daily church business Wednesday when they saw on an office computer that white smoke — signaling a new pope had been elected — was appearing at the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City in Italy. 
“All of a sudden, one of the ladies in the office started yelling that the smoke was white,” said Ramler.
The election of Pope Francis brought to an end a relatively short conclave, and he was elected during a fifth ballot.
“The process is not at all like our political election process,” said Ramler. “It’s a more prayerful, reflective process.
“They ask ‘What problems do we have? Who can lead us through this?’” Ramler added.
Pope Francis has already garnered attention for his chosen name. It's the first time the name is being used by a pope. Pope Francis chose his name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi because he is a lover of the poor, according to Vatican spokespeople.

Text Only
News Live
News Live
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks