Northwest Philadelphia reacts to Pope Francis being selected to lead Catholics worldwide

NewsWorks would like to know what you think about Wednesday’s announcement that Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio had been selected as the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.

On Wednesday afternoon, Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles J. Chaput immediately released a statement reacting to the news of Pope Francis’ election. It read:

“I first met our new Holy Father at Rome’s 1997 Synod for America, and still have a gift from him, a portrait of Mary, the mother of Jesus, on my desk.

“Pope Francis, the former Cardinal Bergoglio, is a man from the new heartland of the global Church; a priest of extraordinary intellectual and cultural strengths; a man deeply engaged in the issues of contemporary life and able to speak to the modern heart; open to the new realities the Church faces; and rooted in a deep love of Jesus Christ.

‘He is a wonderful choice; a pastor God sends not just to the Church but to every person of good will who honestly yearns for justice, peace and human dignity in our time. May God grant him courage and joy, and sustain him with his divine presence.

‘And may Catholics in Philadelphia and around the world lift him up with our prayers.”

What do you think of the news? Let us know in the comments section, via Twitter or email.

As reactions come in, we will update this story throughout the day.

Updated with reactions

“I’m really excited about Pope Francis; I get chills when I read about it and I’m not even Catholic! This is truly momentous.” — Ellyn Avila, Manayunk

“As the entire world freaks out about the newly-elected pontiff, a quick reminder: Jorge Bergoglio (the new pope) has labeled adoption by gay and lesbian couples ‘a form of discrimination against children.’ He also strongly opposes gay marriage (obviously). I can think of one thing in particular many leaders of the Catholic Church have been accused/convicted of that is FAR more harmful to children than having two moms or two dads.” — Tucker Brown, via Facebook conversation with NewsWorks freelancer Olivia Jane Winters

“I’d really like to see the Pope come down hard on child molesters instead of protecting them. Instead, send them to prison where they belong. It’s the biggest issue facing the Catholic Church. [That Francis I hails from Argentina is] “pretty awesome.” — Justin Grasso-King, Northwest Philadelphia resident

“I am happy to see he is Jesuit because I like the way they think. [On his Argentina roots] it’s nice to get some variety in there. I want to see some more liberal thinking on women’s issues and sexual issues and some loosening up of the ‘rules.'” — Terry Clark, Chestnut Hill

“I hope this Pope stays much longer” — Renee Recliff

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