New Yorkers of all stripes lauded the choice of pope today.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., called the election “an incredible moment.”
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“The Catholic Church plays an important role in the social and civic fabric of the Bronx and New York City, and today I congratulate the borough’s, and in fact the world’s, Catholic community on this history-making decision,” he said. [embedgallery id=121202]
Rep. Nydia Velazquez said she appreciated that the pope was chosen from Latin America.
“It is a source of pride to see the first election of a pope from Latin America,” she said. “Equally important, Pope Francis has a distinguished record of working to comfort and assist the poor, while personally leading a humble life inspired by Christ.”
New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan released a statement saying he was praying for the new leader.
"The election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has taken the name Francis I, marks a great milestone in our church," he said in his statement. "As successor to Peter, our first pope, Pope Francis I stands as the figure of unity for all Catholics wherever they reside."
His statement continued, "The bishops of the United States thank God for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the inspired choice of the College of Cardinals. With joy in our hearts, we declare "Ad Multos Annos!" (For many years!)"
Metro also talked with worshippers at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church at 22 Barclay Street in downtown Manhattan to get their reaction after the new Pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, of Argentina was elected today.
"It wasn’t Archbishop Dolan? I thought it would be him. Well, that's great. That's completely God's plan because no one predicted it. The Holy Spirit planned it. I’d like the new pope to follow the principles in the biblical scriptures."
Johnson John, 48, Bellrose, Queens
"For me, it would have been better if it were Cardinal Dolan. I don’t know anything about the new Argentinean pope."
Maria Nela, 61, Flushing, Queens
"I hope he's ecumenical like John and he reaches out to different faiths. I also hope he has a personality that's warmer than Benedict."
Steve Henry, 53, Newark, NJ
"The Catholic Church has been here longer than you and I have ever known so I don't think it really matters that he’s from Argentina."
Daniel Arens, 46, Long Island
"I didn’t even know that they had chosen the new pope. Hey, it’s someone from a different country than usual so that’s good. I hope that the church becomes more of a positive force and that they can eradicate the scandals that have been following him."
Annie Bulgin, 28, Williamsbridge, Bronx
Evelyn Cheng contributed reporting.