Southeastern students are excited and thankful for the election of Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church from Argentina.
“I think it’s awesome that someone from the new world was chosen,” said sophomore Savanna Balado. “I think people are really attracted to the new pope and he is going to be great.”
Many students are impressed with Pope Francis’ humility. According to freshman Keaton Northington, Pope Francis is so humble that he offered to pick up his own luggage at the airport and ride in a nondescript taxi when he arrived in the Vatican City.
“He reminds me of Mother Theresa,” said Balado. “They have similar ways of giving their gifts.”
Scott Doescher, senior, said he admires that Pope Francis often visited poor neighborhoods in Argentina.
Formally known as cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis is the first to take his new name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. “He has respect for all of God’s creations,” said Sr. Renée Daigle, MSC. According to Sr. Renée, St. Francis of Assisi, is known for his work with the poor, which is what inspired Pope Francis to take the name.
Doescher, like Bolado, appreciates that Pope Francis is from the Americas. “The population in the new world is growing,” he says. “The church is growing.”
Sr. Renée commented about the same. “I think it’s awesome because the church is growing,” she says. According to her, Pope Francis wants to build the Catholic church.
According to Northington, he hopes Pope Francis recovers the church “where it needs to be recovered.” Northington believes that this pope will stand firm.
Sr. Renée said that she hopes women’s roles in the church changes with the direction of the new pope.
While Sr. Renée had no expectations of who she thought the new pope was going to be, senior Jacob Currier said that he expected someone much younger to be chosen. “With Pope Benedict resigning because of his age, I thought they were going to get a much younger person.”
Bolado said that she understands why Pope Benedict XVI resigned as pope. “It’s great that he recognized the current state of his health. He got clarity from the lord to step down.”
Doescher agrees with her saying, “He put the needs of the church ahead of his own.”
Sr. Renée said she believes he has done the right thing. “I appreciate the fact that he knows his limitation.”
“I thinks it’s humility that goes into this decision,” said Northington.
According to the students, humility is the same quality that Pope Francis has that will allow him to succeed as Pope. “He asked everyone to bless him,” said Bolado.