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New World Pope (with CNC3 video)
Archbishop of Port-of-Spain Fr Joseph Harris says the choice of Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis I) as the new Catholic Pope was a welcome surprise. In an interview minutes after Bergoglio greeted a crowd at the Vatican in Rome, Harris said he was happy and excited for the future of the Church. “Yes. We have a new pope. I am happy and I hope everyone else is happy. This is a new beginning for the Catholic Church,” he said.
Harris said he had worked in Latin America for many years and was glad that Pope Francis I, who is the first Latin American ever chosen to lead the Catholic Church, was the man selected for the role. “The Holy Spirit has worked within the Church and he is the man who has been given to us.”
Harris said, however, that he suspected many would have been surprised by the choice as they had expected someone younger. “He is 76 years old, not too much younger than Pope Benedict when he was made pope,” he said. Pope Francis I was revealed to the crowd shortly after 3 pm (local time) yesterday, hours after white smoke billowed from the roof of St Peter’s Basilica, announcing that a new pope had been chosen.
He is the first South American to ever be elected as Bishop of Rome. Bergoglio was elected on the fifth ballot. In order to be elected pope, he had to have received two-thirds of 115 votes. At around 3.30 pm, the Pope’s official twitter account released its first tweet: “HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM.”
According to news reports, Bergoglio finished second in the 2005 conclave that produced Benedict XVI. Another local Catholic priest, Fr Clyde Harvey, also said he was delighted by the choice. “His presentation and introduction said he wants to be the Bishop of Rome. That makes me glad. You need someone who will be an example to other bishops,” Harvey said. He described Bergoglio as someone known to be humble and honest yet firm.
“He can address some of the issues in the Church, such as administrative issues and indiscipline. He is someone who can help the Church become more transparent for Christ,” he added.
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