Bristol bishop welcomes new Pope, Francis I
BISHOP Declan Lang of Clifton has welcomed news that the first pope from the Americas has been chosen to lead the Catholic church.
The announcement that Argentine Jorge Mario Bergoglio, had been selected by cardinals at a conclave in the Vatican, Rome, was made earlier this evening.
Pope Francis I will replace Pope Benedict XVI, who stepped down last month saying he was no longer strong enough to lead the Church.
Bishop Lang said the new pope’s Latin American roots could shine through.
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He said: “It was a surprise but a good surprise. You will see people will be pleasantly surprised by him.
“He is known to be someone who engages heavily in public life and is interested in social justice.”
He added: “I think because the majority of Catholics live in Latin America the new choice is acknowledging that fact.
“His experience will be an asset and I welcome the news.”
Pope Francis I is the first pope from the Americas, and the first from outside Europe in over a thousand years.