New Pope Francis Elected: Catholics in Wheaton React
The white smoke appeared on Wednesday, signaling that the conclave had chosen Jorge Mario Bergoglio to be the new head of the Catholic Church. Catholics in Wheaton responded with excitement.
In Wheaton, Catholics reacted excitedly to news of the election Wednesday of the first pope from a Latin American country. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a Jesuit from Argentina, will be known as Pope Francis.
Glenmont resident Morena Lopez spoke in Spanish outside the Catholic Charities building on Georgia Avenue, saying she wasn't expecting that the new pope would be from Argentina, but that it was a good thing for Latinos.
"The Church and God's love is for all people of the world regardless of their ethnic heritage," said Nancy Murray, a religion teacher at St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic School in Wheaton. "Electing a Latin American pope certainly reflects and emphasizes this charateristic of the Church, which is open to all."
Murray was pleased that the new pope was the first to choose Francis as his name, after St. Francis of Assissi. "He was a real reformer of the Church," Murray said.
Francis' predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, elected in 2005, became the first pope to resign in 600 years last month.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl—archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, which includes Washington, DC, and Maryland's Montgomery, Prince George's, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties—took part in the papal conclave.
How are you reacting to the news of Pope Francis' election? Tell us in the comments.