Local Catholics Welcome New Pope
Pope Francis elected as 266th pontiff Wednesday
ANCHORAGE - The selection of an Argentinean cardinal as the new pope was an exciting moment for Catholics worldwide.
It was an exciting moment, especially because it came so quickly, on just the second day of the conclave of cardinals.
"It's exciting for me because it's the first time I’ve experienced this,” said parishioner Daniel Sullivan.* “I know it's happened before in my lifetime, but now that I'm old enough to really understand it more, and a lot more involved in the church than I was when I was younger, so it's good to see this happening now."
The choice of an Argentinean is seen as symbolic.
In addition to his uniqueness as the first pope from the new world, Pope Francis has another distinction: He is the first former member of the Society of Jesus to become pope -- and that was a once controversial order within the church.
"There have been moments where there was even the Jesuits were suppressed for a time,” said Reverend Mark Francis Manzano. “But they're back. And there we go."
Reverend Mark Francis Manzano says the new pope might have chosen the name Francis in honor of one of two famous Catholics -- "...if he's a big fan of Francis of Assisi, like I am, or if it's an homage to the founder of his religious order."
*Not the mayor, nor the commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, who have the same name.