TUCKAHOE, N.Y. – With Easter rapidly approaching, the Roman Catholic Church has given Tuckahoe and Bronxville residents another reason to celebrate with the election of a new pope.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, of Argentina, was selected as the 265th successor of Saint Peter on Wednesday afternoon, to the surprise of many. Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan was considered the favorite to earn the distinction.
Tuckahoe resident Jennifer O’Flaherty said she was excited a new pope was picked so quickly.
“I was surprised that the white smoke came so early, it seemed to take so much longer the last time,” she said. “I just hope he’s a good leader for the church moving forward.”
Bergoglio, who assumed the name Pope Francis, is the first pope to be elected from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium.
“Hopefully this one sticks around until the end of his term,” Bronxville resident Jessica Sanders joked. “It’s exciting that it’s someone more local.”
Pope Francis was ordained as a priest in 1969 and became the archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998. In 2001, he became a cardinal. He is the first Jesuit pope.
Bob Frank was impressed by what he has seen in the pope’s first day-and-a-half in charge of the church.
“We’ve only seen him for a short time so far, but his first speech as pope was just outstanding,” he said outside the Immaculate Conception Church. “I think that he’s going to be a great pope for the entire church.”