Archdiocese of Louisville reacts to announcement of Pope Francis I


by Gene Kang

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 6:51 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 13 at 7:12 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The world learned the name of the new Catholic pope on Wednesday afternoon.

Kentuckiana is reacting to the previous Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina being named to the top spot.

"I guess I was surprised as anyone else to see the white smoke come so quickly," Archbishop Joseph Kurtz with the Archdiocese of Louisville, said.

The announcement of Pope Francis the First, the first Latin pope in the Catholic Church, had Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz speaking a different language…Spanish.

The new pope is the first pope from outside of Europe and the first Jesuit.

Archbishop Kurtz says it was a great sign that Pope Francis asked everyone to first pray around the world.

"Even though I never met the Holy Father I do know him as a man of integrity and spiritually selfless," Archbishop Kurtz said.

Louisville's Archdiocese serves 22 counties around the Metro and Kentucky.
Wednesday's announcement and the new pope's choice of name is significant to Catholics.

St. Francis is universally known for being a simple man and Kurtz says the new pope is much the same.

“Whenever people speak about him they say he is a spiritual man and a simple man, what a gift we have in the Church," said Archbishop Kurtz.

Catholic journals are reporting that the new Pope has a record of being orthodox and opposes abortion, same-sex marriage and contraception.

At the same time, the Archbishop says the Pope’s mission will be evangelical meaning he should introduce many people to the Catholic Church.

Catholics will be celebrating mass Thursday at Noon at the Cathedral of the Assumption.