When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
East Lancashire Catholics welcome appointment of new Pope
LEADING East Lancashire Christians have said they hope the new Pope will re-evangalise the secular world.
Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who will be known as Pope Francis I, became the first Latin American and the first Jesuit to become pontiff on Wednesday evening.
Andrew Johnson, headmaster at Stonyhurst, the country’s leading Jesuit school, in Hurst Green, said the Pope’s social justice background would help bring ‘ordinary people’ back to church.
He said: “Coming from Latin America, Pope Francis brings a great enthusiasm with him.
“It is difficult to say what he is going to do, but there is hope that he will lead a church that is going to reach out to people in the secular world.
“He has obviously been very committed to social justice, supporting people and looking after people in his work as a cardinal.
“We need that in Europe.
“We are all very excited about the election of a new pope, but there are going to be difficult challenges ahead. Nobody can deny that there are going to be difficult times for him, but we hope and pray he will be able to face those and I am sure he will have the support of the church.”
Bishop of Lancaster, Michael Campbell, who was in Rome when white smoke billowed from the Sistine Chapel meaning the conclave of 115 cardinals had come to a decision, said the selection of Francis as a name was very important.
He said: “This is the first time a pope has chosen the name of Francis, associated with the great saint of simplicity and poverty, St Francis of Assisi, and St Francis Xavier, the Jesuit missionary.
“I’m also struck by the fact that Pope Francis I trained as a scientist, having a master’s degree in chemistry and was a professor of theology. Pope Francis I is the pope for the 21st Century who can show the harmony between faith and reason.”
A spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford said the appointment would be an opportunity for the church to move forward: “Pope Francis is renowned for being an excellent communicator, so I would imagine he will make efforts to get the message across pretty clearly.
“He is also very appreciative of the need for us to be more and more ready to help those on the margins of society.”
And Church of England Bishop-designate of Blackburn, the Venerable Julian Henderson said: “I welcome the appointment of Pope Francis I and wish him all the strength and encouragement he will need in his new role.”
Comments are closed on this article.