Crowds elated to have new pope
Before they even saw his face, Pope Francis had already won over the Roman masses.
The announcement that he would be known by the same name as St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of Italy, sent the crowd into ecstasy.
He did even better with his first words, when Francis said the cardinals had reached to the end of the earth to find the bishop of Rome – recalling the beloved Pope John Paul II, a Polish cardinal who told his first crowd in 1978 that cardinals had called him from a far country.
The former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio is the son of an Italian immigrant and his Italian is only lightly accented.
Francis announces he will visit Benedict
Pope Francis will visit his predecessor Benedict XVI at the papal retreat in Castel Gandolfo south of Rome.
U.S. Cardinal Timothy Dolan says Francis told fellow cardinals following the conclave that made him pope: Tomorrow morning, I’m going to visit Benedict.
Benedict resigned on Feb. 28, becoming the first pope to do so in nearly 600 years.
Pope Francis is getting right to work. He will celebrate his first Mass as pope Thursday in the Sistine Chapel, and will be installed as pope on Tuesday, according to the Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi.
Paolo Olivares, a 29-year-old seminarian from Chile, says it’s very important to have a Latin American pope.
Yes, yes, yes! I think it’s a change that the church needs, he says. I think Cardinal Bergoglio has done a great job in Argentina and he will do even better in Rome.
Maggy Pena, a 45-year-old Rome resident from the Dominican Republic, was ecstatic, jumping up and down and screaming out her pride in being Latina.
I’m so happy because the new pope is from Latin America. That means we are a big people, she said. For the first time we have a pope. And next we will have an American president. You’ll see!