New Pope Francis Elected: Area Catholics React
The white smoke appeared on Wednesday, signaling that the conclave had chosen Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio to be the new head of the Catholic Church
White smoke rose from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel Wednesday afternoon, signifying that two-thirds, or 77 of the 115 Cardinals eligible to vote, have agreed on the man to succeed Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Pope Francis, formerly Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, will lead the Catholic Church. Bergoglio is the first Jesuit in Papal history and was the runner up behind Benedict in the last Papal conclave.
Monsignor Edward J. Arnister, pastor of St. Rose Church in Belmar, was wildly supportive of the decision.
"I was impressed when he asked for everyone to pray for him before he gave the blessing,'' Arnister said. "No one has ever done that."
Arnister said he was also impressed with the name Bergoglio had chosen -- a symbol of poverty, humility, simplicity, rebuilding.
"What I'm learning about the new Pope is that he's a deeply spiritual man who is full of zeal for preaching the gospel,'' Arnister said. "This is such a joyous time for the church to have elected a true shepherd to lead us through these troubled times.''
Ginni Blasi, of Wall's West Belmar section, agreed.
"He is outside the Curia, from the Americas, a Jesuit and clearly a humble man,'' Bilasi said. "Furthermore, taking on the name of St Francis seems to tells much about his intentions."
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