Argentines and Brazilians react to selection of new pope
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 01:31
March 13 - Argentina celebrates the selection of Pope Francis, while Brazilians hope he'll move the church in a new direction. Malini Wilkes reports.
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When the curtains parted, the Catholic Church's first Latin American pope stepped out on the balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square.
Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina is now Francis the first.
Argentines who had poured into churches Wednesday to watch the events at the Vatican joyously celebrated the surprise announcement.
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CATHOLIC SERGIO BALVO, SAYING:
"I think it's incredible to be living through this period with an Argentine pope. I think that Bergoglio is a saint."
Jose San Martin is the Argentine archbishop's spokesman:
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ARCHBISHOP SPOKESPERSON JOSE SAN MARTIN, SAYING:
"In the first place, beyond whether or not it's Bergoglio, it's the presence of a pope in the church that is truly the vicar of Christ, the successor of Peter."
Brazilians too, celebrated the new pope.
Many had speculated that one of their own might become the next leader of the church. But Brazilian bishop Leonardo Steiner says the selection of Pope Francis is a historic step forward for Catholics.
(SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) CATHOLIC BISHOP LEONARDO STEINER, SAYING:
"The choosing of a Latin American pope shows that the Church is opening up and moving the Church as a whole, not only focusing on Europe. I could feel it at the synod for new evangelization that I was part of; that the European bishops were paying more attention to what we said, to what the Latin American bishops said."
Francis becomes the first pope from outside europe since the eighth century.
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