New Pope Francis Elected: Catholics in Upper Saucon React
White smoke appeared on Wednesday, signaling that the conclave had chosen Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio to be the new head of the Catholic Church. Locals across the community responded.
Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, is the next pope. He has chosen the name Pope Francis.
Bergoglio is the first Jesuit—and the first from Latin America—to be named pope.
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He has spent nearly his entire career in Argentina, and according to published reports, he has lived modestly, taking the bus to work, cooking his own meals and opting to live in an apartment.
ABC News Online reported that he is considered a champion of social justice in his country. He also is a conservative, strongly opposing abortion, same-sex marriage and contraception, ABC News reported.
Bergoglio stepped out onto the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome at 3:22 p.m. Wednesday (8:22 p.m in Rome) to cheering crowds. Just a little over an hour earlier, white smoke had arisen from atop the Sistine Chapel, indicating that the Roman Catholic cardinals had elected a new pope.
Upper Saucon Patch Facebook user Digi Richie questioned Bergoglio's age. "I'm just wondering why they picked a guy at his age," Richie writes. "Why not someone younger?"
"I'm confused by the fact that he stepped down as cardinal last year because of his age and now they made him pope?" Loring writes.
Bergoglio succeeds Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned Feb. 28, the first pope to do so in 600 years. He cited advanced age.
There are 270,000 Catholics across the Allentown Diocese, including 76,000 in Northampton County and 67,000 in Lehigh County.