Heights Catholic Leader Reacts to Selection of New Pope
Monsignor Lewis Papera of Corpus Christi Church finds Pope Francis' simplicity inspirational.
Corpus Christi Church leader Monsignor Lewis Papera believes Pope Francis will be a great role model.
The Vatican announced Wednesday that Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio will be the new leader of the Catholic Church.
The Father says he was surprised, as many were, upon first learning of the selection of Pope Francis, who is the first to be elected from outside of Europe, and the first from the Latin Americas.
He finds the new Pope's simple lifestyle, much like Saint Francis for whose name he chose, admirable and inspirational. Papera says he has read Pope Francis takes public transportation and chooses to live in an apartment, not a palace. "He has a pastor's heart," says Papera.
"God writes a Gospel in each person. The Pope is a unique person. It's going to be a real gift to see the impact his personality will have," said Papera.
This is an exciting thing for the Latin Catholic community, Papera said. After the news came out yesterday, one of his parishioners who hails from Peru was very excited when she heard the news, he says.
Papera said Pope Francis is a good pastor and teacher and good administrator, something he will also need as part of his ministry.
On behalf of the Newark Achdiocese, the Most Reverend John J. Myers, Archbishop of Newark, said in a statement it should be no surprise that the new Pope comes from a different part of this world as "It is a recognition that the Church is growing in different parts of the world. I share the joy of all Spanish-speaking people in his election."
"Mostly, his choice of name - Francis - recalls the ideals of St. Francis of Assisi, who preached about returning to God and obedience to the Church," said Myers.