Many Catholics all across the Carolinas were thrilled with Wednesday’s decision by 158 Cardinals in Rome to choose one of their own — Cardinal Jorge Bergogolio — to assume the position as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church.
David Haines, spokesman of the Catholic Diocese in Charlotte, said Wednesday’s decision was positively stunning.
Bergogolio, now known as Pope Francis, is from Argentina and succeeds Pope Benedict the 16th who retired last month.
Argentina has he world’s 11th largest population of Catholics, and Haines said this may signal some new life coming into the Catholic Church.
Winthrop University religion professor Peter Judge said today the concept of a pope retiring from his office likely conveys a change in mindset for the 1 billion Catholics across the world.
Pope Francis is 76.
For more on Wednesday’s decision check out Wednesday’s Straight Talk podcast with Winthrop University religion professor Peter Judge who outlined how exactly the selection process unfolded behind closed doors.