Carroll County Catholics 'Excited' for New Pope
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio—to be named Francis—was elected as the new pope Wednesday, multiple media outlets report.
The announcement of the election of the new pope is still fresh, but excitement is spreading at St. John Catholic School in Westminster.
After two days of conclave, Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope by a group of cardinals on Wednesday, according to multiple media reports. He will be called Pope Francis.
Pope Francis replaces Benedict XVI, who resigned last month at the age of 85, saying he was not strong enough to lead the Church according to a BBC report.
St. John Catholic School PTO President Deborah Kennedy said she had a feeling the new Pope was going to be named on Wednesday.
"We have a new leader and it’s a very exciting time for us," Kennedy said.
Kennedy said St. Johns students were informed during the school day Wednesday that white smoke had come out of the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, indicating a new pope had been chosen. She said she is sure there will be much discussion in classes on Thursday about the new pope and where he's from.
"Everyone seemed to think an Italian cardinal would be chosen," Kennedy said. "I’m happily surprised that the new pope is from Argentina. He’s the first pope from the Americas, it’s very exciting."
Named the 266th pontiff, Bergoglio has become a part of church history.
"This is certainly historic, as the first pope to come from the Americas, but unsurprising given the global nature of the church," said Jill Krebs, McDaniel College lecturer in Religious Studies.
Krebs said she is interested to see what the pope will do with his new position.
"There's lots of speculation about what Pope Francis I will do in office, but we will have to wait to see," Krebs said in an email to Patch. "I'm very curious, after Pope Benedict's particular causes and conservative interpretations on many matters, whether this new pope will move in a different direction."
Krebs speculated that economic justice may be a focus for Bergoglio.
"He has chastised wealthy Argentinians, so it could be that he deals with economic justice issues," Krebs said. "He's no liberation theologian, though, so it will be interesting to see how he approaches that issue.
"If he's expected to be a voice from/for the global South--as many people are hopeful he will be--then economic justice might be on his radar," Krebs said.
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