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NEW: Bishop Tobin Reacts to the Election of Pope Francis

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected March 13 as the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires has just been elected as the 266th pope of the Catholic Church, taking the name Francis.

Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence commented to GoLocalProv, "The pope's election comes as a wonderful surprise. It's great gift, both to the church and to the world. I, like a lot of people, have a lot to learn about the new pope. He's not terribly well known, and I look forward to getting to know this honest, good, holy, and humble man."

Pope Francis, 76, is the first Latin American as well as the first Jesuit priest to gain the papacy. He gave his first papal address, the Urbi et Orbi (to the "City and the World"), as the leader of the Catholic Church from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, praying for the church, the papcy, and his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He served as a cardinal elector in the 2005 conclave that elected Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Francis was ordained into the priesthood in 1969 and succeeded Cardinal Quarracino in 1998. In 2001, he was summoned to the Vatican City by Pope John Paul II and given the honors of a cardinal. He is known for his commitment to social justice, conservatism, and humility, living in a modest apartment, taking public transportation, and cooking his own meals. White smoke from the Sistine Chapel chimney appeared at 7:05pm CET (2:05pm EDT), signalling the election of a new leader. Francis received at least 77 votes from the Catholic Church's 115 voting cardinal electors.


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