What Election Of Pope Francis Means For Catholic Church - WSPA.com

What Election Of Pope Francis Means For Catholic Church

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GREENVILLE, S.C. -

As the world watched the introduction of a new pope, in Greenville Judy Bruce made changes to her Catholic store.

"It's just an exciting time to be Catholic," said Bruce.

She says shoppers, Catholic or not, were excited watching the historical process. In Rome, the Conclave elected Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina. He's the first pope from the Americas.

"There's been a little hum of excitement going on ever since the Conclave began," said Bruce.

Catholics say selecting a leader from the New World impacts those within and even outside the Church.

"It tells me that the church is truly universal and that it knows it's universal," said Bruce. "And it's trying to live that universality as best as it can.

7 On Your Side checked with church leaders who also say the selection is showing that the Catholic church is branching out and becoming more diverse.

"The majority of people in the Catholic church speak Spanish, not Italian, not French and certainly not English, but Spanish," said Father Jay Scott Newman of St. Mary's Catholic Church of Greenville. "Now we have a Spanish-speaking pope."

Father Newman also says the Pope's name is another example. The new leader choose the name of the popular 13th Century saint --- Saint Francis.

We're told that name shows the Pope's plans to reach beyond the church walls.

"He's going to live and preach like Francis of Assisi in extreme simplicity, with complete dedication to the poor and the neglected and in a way that reaches out to the whole human race," said Father Newman.

Father Newman also says Pope Francis' home country is important too. He's from Argentina. And father Newman says the church is growing the fastest in South America.

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