Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Atlanta archdiocese celebrates election of Pope Francis

Media release: The Most Reverend Luis R. Zarama, Auxiliary Bishop  of Atlanta, held a press conference in Atlanta Wednesday afternoon to congratulate the newly elected pope. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, is now Pope Francis.
Bishop Zarama said, "This was an emotional, powerful moment for us.  Pope Francis – a beautiful name – the first to choose Francis.  He is a very simple man. … a pope of the people. It's very clear from the way he approached the people and asked them to bless him and pray for him. It's a beautiful sign of closeness and humility."
When asked his reaction, Bishop Zarama said, "I hold my tears. It was very emotional, powerful."
When asked what this first ever Latino pope means, Bishop Zarama said, "It's too soon to say… As a Latino, he will have a warm way to approach the people. This pope will give a great opportunity for us to feel close to him."
Archbishop Gregory speaking in Rome on ABC News said of Pope Francis asking the people in St. Peter's Square and around the world to pray for him, and bowing in silent prayer, "I think at that moment he won the heart of all of the Romans, if not of all of the world. He is a holy man."  Asked if he was surprised by the selection of the Buenos Aires cardinal as pontiff, he said, "Delightfully so.  I am not Argentinian, but I couldn't be happier, "he said.
Archbishop Gregory said that the Cardinal has a reputation of personal holiness, "that he is so committed to serving the poor, living simply; calling people to holiness in such a simple way that it is almost impossible to say 'no.'"
Cardinal Bergoglio, 76, was elevated to the College of Cardinals on February 21, 2001, in Rome. He was born on December 17, 1936 in Buenos Aires. Ordained a priest for the Jesuits in 1969, he was ordained a bishop in 1992.  He was appointed coadjutor archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1997, succeeding Cardinal Antonio Quarracino on February 28, 1998.
Pope Francis becomes the 266th pope in the history of the Catholic Church, and the 265th successor of St. Peter.

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