New Pope Francis Elected: Waltham-based Priest Reacts
The white smoke appeared on Wednesday, signalling that the conclave had chosen Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio to be the new head of the Catholic Church. Locals across the community responded.
A Brandeis University chaplain hailed the selection of the new pope, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who was named Pope Francis I today.
“I think its great having someone from South America,” said the Rev. Walter E. Cuenin, of the Brandeis University’s Interfaith Chaplaincy.
Bergoglio previously served as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, according to the Vatican website. Bergoglio replaces Pope Benedict XVI, who recently retired.
Despite applauding the choice, Cuenine said one aspect of Bergoglio’s selection shocked him — his age.
“I was surprised at that,” Cuenin said of Bergoglio, who is 76.
While Archbishop of Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley could have been chosen as pope, Cuenin said he never thought O’Malley would not be named. Cuenin said he believes the Catholic Church would not want to cause a rift with countries abroad by choosing a pope from a superpower such as the United States.
“I don’t think they would want to have that conflict,” Cuenin said.
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