Beacon Hill Priest 'Hopeful' on Announcement of New Pope, Francis I
The white smoke appeared on Wednesday, signaling that the conclave had chosen Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio to be the new head of the Catholic Church.
After a short conclave, cardinals at the Vatican announced Wednesday that Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected the new pope and would call himself Francis I.
Reaching shortly after the announcement, Father Frank Desiderio of the Paulist Center on Beacon Hill expressed satisfaction with the cardinals' decision.
"I like the fact that he's from South American, that he's from Argentina, and that he chose the name Francis I," Desiderio said.
St. Francis of Assisi is a beloved figure in the Catholic world, and particularly in Italy. He is not only the patron said of the environment, he's also a symbol for humility and peace, Desiderio said. "These are all signs of hope for me," he said.
Furthermore, no pope has ever chose this name. This fact signals that the new head of the Catholic Church "is willing to do something new," the priest said.
Desiderio also appreciated the fact that Pope Francis I asked for a prayer from the crowd assembled in St. Peter's Square before delivering his blessing.
"I think it shows a certain humility on his part – that he's going to need their prayers to do what he needs to do as pope. It's a hard job."
Pope Francis I, 76, is the 266th pontiff of the Catholic Church. He's not only the first to be called Francis, he's also the first pope from South America, the first Jesuit, and the first non-European pope in more than 1,000 years.