Pope Francis, formerly known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a native of Argentina, was elected pope of the Roman Catholic Church after two days of conclave, according to various news sources.
According to the Washington Post, he is the first pope from the Western Hemisphere.
He also the first member of the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, to be elected. Jesuits are a special order of brothers and priests.
Michael Tyrrell, executive assistant to the Provincial of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, said this was unusual because Jesuits normally promise not to seek ecclesiastical positions. Tyrrell said there were at times exceptions to this rule, including the new Pope Francis’s time as a bishop in Argentina.
According to the Catholic News Service, Vatican spokesman Father Frederico Lombardi said the new pope’s installation mass will most likely be March 19.
Bishop Michael P. Driscol of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise commented on the election in a recent press release
“As with other Catholics around the world, I am pleased to offer my sport and prayers for our new pope, Pope Francis,” Driscol said.
He also said although he has not personally met the new pope, he has confidence in his ability to be the church’s spiritual leader.
“I am confident Pope Francis will work to guide the church through the New Evangelization and make us stronger witnesses of Christ to the world,” Driscol said.
Driscol said all Catholics in Idaho should pray for their new leader.
Reverend Camillo Garcia, who holds services at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Rexburg, also gave his sport for the pope.
“He is a man of God, who wants us to be close to God, to Jesus Christ the shepherd,” said Reverend Camillo Garcia, who is based out of Mary Immaculate in St. Anthony.
Garcia said the new pope will serve to bring Latin America more attention in the Catholic Church.
He also said that Latin America comprises the majority of members, which according to various news sources is roughly 40 percent of the Catholic Church.
Garcia also mentioned the pope’s part in continuing the New Evangelization.
According to the website for the United States Conference of Bishops, New Evangelization is an effort started by Pope Benedict XVI to strengthen the faith of members of the Catholic Church and encourage them to help spread their faith to others in the world.