New Pope Francis Selected: Vienna Catholics React
The white smoke appeared on Wednesday, signaling the conclave had chosen Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio to be the new head of the Catholic Church. Vienna catholics say they're excited for a pope who represents a different part of the world.
The Catholic Church has a new Pope now that the conclave of Catholic leaders have cast their ballots for Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a Jesuit from Argentina.
Pope Benedict XVI stepped down from his position Feb. 28, citing failing strength of “mind and body." The new Pope has taken on the name Francis I.
While not as well known as neighbor Arlington for its Catholic community, Vienna is still home to many Catholics and two Catholic schools run by Vienna churches: Our Lady of Good Counsel, on Wolftrap Road, and St. Mark's, off of Vale Road in Vienna.
Many Vienna students also attend Bishop O'Connell High School in Arlington.
St. Mark's Church staff members were watching the white smoke and subsequent announcement live online this afternoon.
"We're all just really excited," said Jean Lupinacci, who answered the office phone.
She said the group was happy the pope was not European.
"He seems to be a fairly simple man and the fact that he's from Argentina is very important to us," she said. "He's representing parts of the world that need to be represented."
Students at the church's school each picked cardinal to pray for throughout the selection process, Lupinacci said .
Pope Francis I, 76, was created a cardinal by Pope John Paull II and is known for riding the bus to work in Buenos Aires and championing the poor, according to The Guardian.
The Guardian reports that as cardinal, Bergoglio took a stance against gay marriage, but supported the use of contraception to prevent disease.
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