Georgia Catholics thrilled with selection of Pope Francis - CBS46 News

Georgia Catholics thrilled with selection of Pope Francis

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Metro Atlanta Catholics seemed thrilled with the selection of the new head of the Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, now known as Pope Francis.

Fr. Michael Silloway, the chaplain at St. Pius X Catholic High School in Atlanta, said there was excitement in the air all day Wednesday. He said once the announcement came that a new pope had been selected, he began researching Pope Francis's background.

"The more I read about him, the more I love him," said Silloway Thursday in an appearance on CBS Atlanta's Better Mornings Atlanta.

"I think he's going to be taking a pretty strong stance on wanting to straighten out, and be a very strong leader, on some of the bureaucratic problems at the Vatican," Silloway said. "I think he's going to bring a huge sensitivity to the poor and the marginalized that he experienced and led so well in Argentina."

For the first time since the Middle Ages, the pope is not European. Pope Francis is also the first pope from the Americas.

"I think this pope coming from Latin America will give us a great opportunity to be and feel close to him," said Bishop Luis R. Zarama, Auxiliary Bishop of Atlanta, who is also Latino.

"I'm thrilled that they have elected a pope from the Americas," said George Crawford, a member of Christ the King Cathedral in Atlanta's Buckhead community. "I just hope that he will be able to unite the church and bring it back to where it was because there's been a lot of scandal, a lot of heartbreaks."

Fellow parishioner Nora Sullivan said that from what she's read, Pope Francis has qualities that make him the perfect choice.

"He is humble, but he's got a doctorate," said Sullivan. "He's a Jesuit. That's a very educated order. He's not an ignorant. I mean, I think he's a very sophisticated but humble man."

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