Montgomery Catholics React to New Pope

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By Ashley Thompson

Catholics

around the world have a new leader.

The Roman Catholic Church has been without one since Pope Benedict XVI retired just weeks ago. But now, a new face will head the church. Jorge Mario Bergoglio was selected after white smoke from the Sistine Chapel signified his election. Some in Montgomery say they're impressed with the new pope's character.

"He has lots of humility which I don't have," says Marc Karam. "Lots of meekness, which I don't have. Many qualities that I look for and I was very moved by that."

Pope Francis is 76 years old. He's the first to be selected from Argentina and the first ever Jesuit Pope. He is also the first to choose the name Francis. Father David Carucci of Montgomery's St Peter's Catholic Church says Bergoglio's choosing of the name Francis sets the tone for reformation and change.

"St. Francis has a vision in an old broken down chapel and Christ speaks to him on the cross and says rebuild my church," he explains. "And Francis took him literally and he starts rebuilding the physical church around him and then he came to realize that no, that Christ was asking something much more than that."

Aside from reforming the church, some say they want Pope Francis to be a good leader.

"Just someone to lead us and to bring us all closer together and to unite us further and tie up some loose ends that we've had in the past," says Montgomery Catholic Taylor Trenier.

"Just someone that can lead the church, someone that's a good evangelist and can look for positive things to happen with the church," says Julie Foley.

And Father Carucci says spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ should be the Pope's top priority.

"That he's able to face some of the real issues concerning the church," he says. "Not just all the scandals we hear about, those are certainly things that we have to be dealt with but that he can push the evangelical mission of the church forward."

Pope Francis is the 266th leader of the Catholic Church. He will be officially 'installed' during a Mass in the next few weeks. According to a White House official, Joe Biden, who is the first Catholic Vice President, will travel to the Vatican to lead the U.S. Delegation.

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