Election of Pope Francis welcomed by Catholics in St Albans

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been elected Pope Francis I © Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been elected Pope Francis I © Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk - Credit: © Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk

THE appointment of a new Pope has been welcomed by Catholics across St Albans.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who will be known as Pope Francis, was named as the new head of the Catholic Church last night.

The election of the 76-year-old was signalled when white smoke billowed from the Sistine Chapel chimney just after 6.15pm.

Father Charles Sweeney, of SS Alban and Stephen Church, in Beaconsfield Road, said he was pleased someone from outside Rome has been selected.

He said: “I was pleasantly surprised because first of all it seemed to have come fairly quickly which means there must have been a lot of agreement on the way forward.

“Secondly he is not an insider in Rome and I think it is going to be an opening up of the church.

“I have no doubt that he will deal with the scandal that has been going on in the church and I think he is going to be strong on the essentials.”

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Pope Francis will take over Pope Benedict XVI after he announced his retirement last month. He is the first pontiff to come from Latin America.