Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or have been hangin’ out in the catacombs), a new Pope was announced Wednesday (March 13) – Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, heretofore known as “Pope Francis” – and here’s how some local residents reacted to this historic event:
From Father Dick Hayatsu of St. Francis of Assisi:

My personal response is one of hope for the Church. To have a Pope who relates so well to the poor is something we need in the Church. There has been too much emphasis on power and authority. I am hoping this Pope will help us know the humility and poverty of Jesus. It is something we all need. The spirit of St. Francis which he has embraced will help us all to follow more closely in the footsteps of Jesus. I really feel the Holy Spirit worked overtime to inspire the Cardinals to choose this man to help bring the Church back to its roots of compassion, love, justice, and peace. May God bless us with that same Spirit as we move into our future. 

From Mike Prato, Principal of Kennedy Catholic High School:

We are thankful for the peaceful transition of authority in our Church. The Pope has been a shining beacon of Spiritual Light to us all for nearly 2000 years. Word of the white smoke pouring from the chimney at St. Peter’s Basilica spread fast at Kennedy Catholic High School. Some teachers projected the live broadcast in their classrooms so our students could experience this historic day in real time. The announcement of the election of Pope Francis was an exciting moment we were blessed to share this with our students and staff.

And some comments from our Facebook Page:
Joy Steele:

Loving the new name: Francis I. Because he’s living La Vida Italiana, is it okay to address His Holiness as “Yo, Frankie?!?”

Gia Sinopoli:

Don’t care, not Catholic.

A Christina Fyri Reichlin:

This is a blessing, and there is so much great news from major news organizations about the Humility, faith, and leadership of Pope Francis. I was pleasantly surprised, and am happy to be more engaged, listening to how events that are happening as a faithful, learning, growing Catholic. You may wish to add summary articles about our new PaPa that have been posted as well. Such as: http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/2076/pope_francis_and_the_humility_of_orthodoxy.aspx#.UUIeOhdlkRo

Athena Zulevic:

While I suppose it’s nice that they’ve chosen someone from outside of Europe and someone who has dedicated his life to charitable service, his bigoted language regarding homosexuals and birth control reminds us that there’s nothing particularly revolutionary going on, here.

Carina Lawrence Schoen:

I was weepy as I watched the thousands of young people wait in eager anticipation for the announcement. The joy in their faces, the tears in their eyes, renewed my hope in the faith of the Church. When Pope Francis appeared in genuine humility and asked for the prayers of the people, my heart was full and truly grateful for the man who was chosen.

Evelyn Howerton:

As he is a Jesuit would hope he leads the Church away from the dogma that treats members with no free will to love and forgive as Christ taught.I see families torn apart by the gay issue, die being shunned by family/church the priest should be free to marr

Emily Nordstrom:

Can there be such a thing as a gay catholic? Is that in its self a contradiction in terms? Well…that’s me. I was born and raised catholic at St. Francis in Burien. I went there, most of my friends went there including extended family too. I like Catholicism, I like the structure and the whole premise of the religion. I just don’t like that I am excluded because of who I love. My partner was also born and raised in the Catholic church. My hope with Pope Francis is that perhaps the church can open up a little and be a little more accepting. From what I’ve read he’s pretty conservative and changes will be few and far between. I don’t want to hide who and I don’t need to be demonstrative either. I just want to take communion like everyone else.

Evelyn Howerton:

I agree Emily, guess as the church teaches to believe and validate miricles then we should pray the Holy See receives one to unitify and heal the wounds bring the church into the 21 century.Christ taught love,forgive. Until then I stand defiant to church

Barbara Levich:

I love Pope Francis. He will be a very different pope and I think the one to lead the Church when so many countries citizens are going to have to lead austere lives as finances are tough and national debt is through the roof. I was impressed that he first asked for prayer. There is no way he is going to change Church doctrine about abortion, contraception or the sanctity of marriage. We all have our crosses to bear; there is no faith without the cross.
“When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord.”

– Pope Francis

Jack Mayne:

Those who remember the Argentinian “Dirty War” will wonder about how he did not deal strongly with the military junta, much unlike his counterpart in Chile.

Diana Gousios Lincoln:

Given the Pope’s background in chemistry I’m wondering how this, together with his faith, will inform many of the decisions he will be making as he guides the church forward.

So…do YOU have any thoughts on the new Pope? If so, please share them below (but please be civil)…]]>

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5 replies on “Locals React to Election of Pope Francis”

  1. Don’t know much about him.
    I do know that there are a lot of comments about homosexuality in article above. Got one thing to say in this regard: If you don’t like it, too bad! The Church does not change or bow to your whims! You don’t have to be a Catholic.
    Live your lives and stop trying to change what is a matter of faith.

    1. @VeryTired
      I expect you know that whenever Catholic news is published, there are always those who use the opportunity to attack or complain that our Faith does not align with their beliefs.
      I found that many people do not think about the fact that majority opinion does not determine Catholic dogma. Many individuals will very strongly and voice their opinions and further demonstrate that they don’t know much about Catholicism. It is sad when people believe that our stance on His Sacrament of marriage is “bigotry.” In this year of faith, we can continue to keep trying to live well, and inform others of our faith. Along with our new Papa Francis!

    2. When people talk about the Pope saying “He’s not homophobic, he just supports traditional marriage.”, it’s like a white person in the 70’s saying “I’m not a racist, I just support traditional education.”

  2. Faith is not about changing your religion to suit your life. True faith is rather about changing your life to suit your religion. Religion and dogma as defined by the Catholic Church is thousands of years old. It is not going to change due to public perception or whims. The sin of Homosexuality, pre-marital sex, euthanasia, abortion, contraception, adultery, and the like will not change with a new Pope. They will remain very harmful sins. I’m impressed with Pope Francis and his humility. I am impressed with the long history of the Catholic Church instructing the faithful in morals without wavering or bowing to secular winds of change. God Bless Pope Francis.

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