Local Catholics rejoice after conclave picks new pope - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Local Catholics rejoice after conclave picks new pope

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Ever since the white smoke emerged at the Vatican, the bells have rung outside Saint Joseph Cathedral in Hartford, which is the home of the Hartford Archdiocese.

On Wednesday afternoon, Archbishop of Hartford Henry Mansell weighed in on the selection of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new pope. 

"This is an historic day, one which we all will always remember, recalling where we were and what we were doing at the time," he said. "It will be etched in the memories of people across the world."

Mansell said the first ever pope from the so-called New World is a big step for the 1.2 billion Catholics across the globe.

"Well I think that it's significant that he is called from the Western Hemisphere," Mansell said. "And he's very definitely Spanish speaking, you saw his familiarity and he's comfortable with the Italian language."

Mansell said he also believes the new pope, Francis, will advocate very strongly for the poor, as he did for years in Argentina.

"The announcement of Pope Francis is one that will affect people everywhere because of the Catholic Church's longstanding tradition of providing services to people of every background," he said.

The director of music ministry for Hartford Archdiocese, Ezequiel Menendez, said he will be celebrating the announcement of his fellow countryman.

"Because of his age, I never thought this was going to happen," he said. "I am thrilled that this came this way."

Mansell added that he was moved by the first speech by Bergoglio as the new pope. 

"His opening address to us was enhanced by his immediate call for prayer, asking all of us to pray for him and assuring us of his ongoing prayers for ourselves," he said.

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