Glenview priest: Pope Francis signals change
Pope Francis waves from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. | AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky
Updated: April 22, 2013 10:07AM
GLENVIEW — The spiritual leader of St. Catherine Laboure Catholic Church in Glenview believes the new pope’s background is indicative of changes in the Vatican.
The first South American to lead the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected Wednesday by the conclave of Cardinals.
St. Catherine’s Rev. Maina Waithaka had followed the selection closely with much interest, he said.
“This is very exciting, especially with someone chosen outside Europe. A lot of new beginnings,” Waithaka said.
“I think one thing among the cardinals is that they agreed change was needed. To me, the cardinals listened to people not of the same old place.”
The new pope will be called Francis, the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.
He is the first non-European leader in more than 1,200 years, Waithaka noted.
“Argentina is not a super power, and the fact that he comes from Latin American is very important. People need someone they can identify with,” he said.
From Kenya, Africa, Waithaka also said Francis, 76, “led a humble life, cooked for himself, did not have a driver and did not live in a big mansion.”
The fact he was named after St. Francis of Assisi the preacher was significant, Waithaka added.
“Francis was known for identifying with the poor and preaching through actions.”