Pope Francis greeted by cheers from Catholics
Members of the local Latino community were no doubt swelling with pride Wednesday when Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected the 266th pope of the Catholic Church, the first from South America and the first from outside of Europe in more than 1,000 years.
A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bergoglio took the name Francis.
"People are quite excited about it," said Father Rodney Nootebos, assistant pastor at St. Paul Parish. "There is a certain charisma there."
Nootebos said he's never met Bergoglio, but like others has been reading a lot about him.
"He seems like a very humble, gentle man, very prayerful."
Nootebos noted Bergoglio's track record of being a simple man who works with the poor, and that after he was named, he walked out onto the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, wearing a simple white cassock rather than the usual red mosetta shoulder cape normally worn by the pope.
"I thought it was edifying."
Nootebos said it appears Bergoglio is very personable, with a pastoral approach, and that this might pose some challenges for Vatican security, perhaps similar to Pope John Paul II, whose insistance on being close to the people led to the construction of the bullet-proof-glass enshrouded Popemobile