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Local bishop reacts to selection of new pope

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Local church leaders are sharing their reactions after the cardinals selected a new pope for the Catholic church.

Rev. Martin Amos, Bishop of the Davenport Diocese, issued this statement via diocese spokesman Deacon David Montgomery:

I announce a great joy to you; we have a Pope!  The most Eminent and most Reverend, Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio of the Holy Roman Church, who has taken the name of Francis.

Our new pope will face many challenges, just as his predecessors did.  The cardinals gathered from all over the world this past week to elect the pope with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Before the election, they discussed the needs of the Church today.  I am sure they included the reform of the curia, the scandals in the Church, the number of people attending Mass, the role of women in the Church and evangelization.  No doubt some wanted to circle the wagons to protect the Church while others wanted to open the windows of the Church wider.

Even before the election process began, people have been discussing what they hope to see.  How many people are hoping for what they want instead of what would be good for the Church?  How many ideas are realistic?  How many ideas take time to be fulfilled?  How many are outside of the authority of the pope?  Pope Francis is not just the pope of Italy or Europe or the United States, but indeed the whole world.  He is not just the pope of the Roman Catholic Church but of all of the Rites in union with the Holy See.  Our Church is richly diverse.

Like any pastor, Pope Francis will not make everyone happy.  He will not do what everyone expects or wants him to do.  He will not meet all of our expectations.  That is alright because it is not about us and what we want.  It is about Christ who is the source of our unity, the one who binds us together.

Please join me in prayer in thanksgiving to God for Pope Francis, for our Church – the People of God, and for the many blessings we receive by the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ.

Watch video below of Bishop Amos’ interview with News 8 as he shared his thoughts when Pope Benedict stepped down.

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