PHOENIX - The head of the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix says Wednesday's announcement of a new pope is meaningful for the Valley in many ways.
Bishop Thomas Olmsted took time to point out the significant meaning of having a pope from outside of Europe.
"What's very interesting to me about this election is that we have someone from what we call the 'New World,' so America has a new pope," he said.
Olmsted went on to say, "It's natural that anyone whose first language is Spanish, like many who live here in the Diocese of Phoenix, will take a sense of pride and gratitude and almost a sense of 'this is our pope' and that's human and healthy for that to happen."
Olmsted also said it's interesting that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the first Jesuit to be elected, "but he chose the name Francis which tells you about his person and who inspires him."
"It gives me a sense that God is with us and he will through this Vicar of Christ, continue to help us be faithful in loving Jesus Christ and loving him."
"I have no doubt Pope Francis will be a man of love and wisdom. This is a great gift from God," he said.
"By choosing the name Francis, he brings a whole new energetic engagement with the world, including the non-Christian world."
"This is a great day of excitement and great joy and gratitude to God," said Olmsted.
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