What does the new pope's selection mean to the Catholic Church

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by Kristine Harrington

azfamily.com

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 13 at 6:00 PM

PHOENIX -- Catholics worldwide are now looking at Pope Francis the First wondering what it means to the Catholic Church.

“The very fact the cardinals picked someone who is not a Roman, not in Europe, not a member of the old guard, not a member of no change gives me immense hope,” said Robert Blair Kaiser, a veteran reporter who covered the Vatican since 1962.

Kaiser believes the election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio signifies change for the Catholic Church.

“They picked a Jesuit who is a serious Jesuit who really took the vow of poverty seriously,” said Kaiser.  “He took the bus, he didn't ride in a limo like every other cardinal in the universe.”

Kaiser calls the new Pope a thinking man and a humble man.

“The fact that before he gave his blessing to the people he asked for the people to pray for him indicates to me that he is thinking first of the people and we want a people church not a clerical church," said Kaiser.

And many believe the name, Pope Francis the First, is also incredibly telling.

“Saint Francis is associated with reform and rebuilding the church in the love of Christ so that is a signal the new Pope has given for the life of the church,” said Father Rob Clements of the New Center at ASU. “The fact that he's a Jesuit does speak to intellectuals and younger people who want to see reform.”
 

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