NEW: Worcester’s Bishop McManus Reacts to the Election of Pope Francis
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
"This is a new day for the Catholic Church," said Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester. "Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Cardinals have chosen Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio to be the Supreme Pontiff, a Cardinal from Buenos Aires, a profoundly prayerful Jesuit, who all are referring to as a man of the people."
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.
"We have much to learn in the coming days and weeks ahead, but today our focus must be on praying in thanksgiving to God for the gift of our Holy Father, Pope Francis to the world," said Bishop McManus. "I invite all Catholics to follow our Holy Father’s first request that we pray for him, joining the people of Rome and of the world, that the Holy Spirit grant him the guidance and wisdom to guide the bark of Peter over the years to come. May he be our Father in Faith so that we may come to know Jesus Christ more closely during his pontificate."
Pope 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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