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Catholics celebrate election of new pope

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 4:21 p.m.
 

Catholics in Western Pennsylvania celebrated the election of Pope Francis I on Wednesday, the first pope from the Americas.

Argentine Jorge Bergoglio chose the papal name Francis, becoming first pontiff from outside Europe in more than a millennium.

“You can't deny the importance that he's from the Americas,” said Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik at a news conference at St. Paul's Seminary in Crafton. “But the sort of person he is is more important.”

Zubik described the new pontiff as “very pastoral” and a man of simple tastes who lives in a small apartment and is said to take public transportation to work.

A stunned-looking Bergoglio shyly waved to the crowd of tens of thousands of people who gathered in St. Peter's Square after his election. He marveled that the cardinals had to look to “the end of the earth” to find a bishop of Rome.

Anthony Falcon opened his Strip District restaurant Gaucho Parrilla Argentina five weeks ago. Though he isn't Catholic, he was excited for Argentina – the country where his father is from and where his siblings were born.

“It's definitely an honor for Argentina. It's great,” said the Brooklyn, N.Y.-born Falcon, 39.

Francis is the first South American to lead the church and the first non-European in more than 1,000 years.

“It's great for the world,” Falcon said. “I wish him the best of luck. He's got a lot on his plate.”

”I'm so excited,” said Donna Seuilli, 70, of Oakland, as she waited for the pope's identity to be announced at St. Paul's Cathedral in Oakland. “Now we have a new Holy Father to guide us.”

The bells at St. Mary of Mercy, Downtown, rang for several minutes to mark the announcement of Pope Francis.

Georgiann Zoog, 76, of Downtown stopped in St. Mary of Mercy, Downtown, on Wednesday afternoon to pray for her sick sister. There she learned of the new pope's election.

She was glad to learn he is from Argentina.

“It's good to get different views,” Zoog said. “I'm not that religious. But I feel like crying now that they've elected a pope, and I hear the bells.”

Francis was elected after two days of balloting and replaces Pope Benedict XVI, who retired.

“I'm glad it didn't take long ... They must have had an idea about who they were looking for,” said Ed Monaghan, 68, of Monessen. “I hope we get a more progressive pope who can take the church in a different direction.”

Three cardinals with Pittsburgh connections were considered long shots for the papacy,

Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, who attended St. Fidelis Seminary in Butler and is now archbishop of Boston; Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who grew up on Mt. Washington and was bishop of Pittsburgh for 18 years before becoming archbishop of Washington; and Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, who grew up in Castle Shannon and now serves as cardinal of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese.

In a statement, Zubik said that, “Our new Holy Father brings with him the experience of a dedicated pastor who has served the Church so well in his many years of ordained ministry. That experience – and the rock-steady faith that has guided him – will be his comfort and strength in the challenging days ahead.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review - St. Vincent College students view Pope Francis on television at the campus near Latrobe on Wednesday, March 13, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review</em></div>St. Vincent College students view Pope Francis on television at the campus near Latrobe on Wednesday, March 13, 2013.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - Sisters pray in the chapel of Sisters of Saint Francis in Millvale following the announcement of Pope Francis, 76, of Argentina, as the Roman Catholic Church's new leader. Prayers were devoted on Wednesday March 13, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review</em></div>Sisters pray in the chapel of Sisters of Saint Francis in Millvale following the announcement of Pope Francis, 76, of Argentina, as the Roman Catholic Church's new leader. Prayers were devoted on Wednesday March 13, 2013.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - Sister Margaret Ann Ufheil (right), 75, of Bellevue, Sister Lorraine Wesolowski (center), 71, of Glenshaw, and Sister Maryann Smith, 72, of Millvale, watch television coverage of the conclave at Sisters of Saint Francis in Millvale on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. The sisters are pleased that Pope Francis chose his name for the saint of their sisterhood's namesake, Saint Francis of Assisi. The saint is revered for his life's devotion to poverty and to the rebuilding of the church.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review</em></div>Sister Margaret Ann Ufheil (right), 75, of Bellevue, Sister Lorraine Wesolowski (center), 71, of Glenshaw, and Sister Maryann Smith, 72, of Millvale, watch television coverage of the conclave at Sisters of Saint Francis in Millvale on Wednesday, March 13, 2013.  The sisters are pleased that Pope Francis chose his name for the saint of their sisterhood's namesake, Saint Francis of Assisi. The saint is revered for his life's devotion to poverty and to the rebuilding of the church.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - Sister Lorraine Wesolowski (right), 71, of Glenshaw and Sister Maryann Smith, 72, of Millvale talk at Sisters of Saint Francis in Millvale about the new pontiff on Wednesday March 13, 2013. 'There was a warmth about him when he came to the stage,' said Sister Lorraine. 'He understands suffering,' said Sister Maryann.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review</em></div>Sister Lorraine Wesolowski (right), 71, of Glenshaw and Sister Maryann Smith, 72, of Millvale talk at Sisters of Saint Francis in Millvale about the new pontiff on Wednesday March 13, 2013. 'There was a warmth about him when he came to the stage,' said Sister Lorraine.  'He understands suffering,' said Sister Maryann.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - A photo of newly elected Pope Francis is displayed in the entrance of the chapel at Sisters of Saint Francis in Millvale on Wednesday, March 13, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review</em></div>A photo of newly elected Pope Francis is displayed in the entrance of the chapel at Sisters of Saint Francis in Millvale on Wednesday, March 13, 2013.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - A sister prays in the chapel after the announcement of Pope Francis, 76, of Brazil, the newly chosen 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, at Sisters of Saint Francis in Millvale on Wednesday, March 13, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review</em></div>A sister prays in the chapel after the announcement of Pope Francis, 76, of Brazil, the newly chosen 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, at Sisters of Saint Francis in Millvale on Wednesday, March 13, 2013.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - Sister Jane Schmitt, 84, of Millvale, prays in the chapel during evening prayers at Sisters of Saint Francis in Millvale on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Some evening prayers were devoted to Pope Francis, the Rpman Catholic Church's new leader.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review</em></div>Sister Jane Schmitt, 84, of Millvale, prays in the chapel during evening prayers at Sisters of Saint Francis in Millvale on Wednesday, March 13, 2013.  Some evening prayers were devoted to Pope Francis, the Rpman Catholic Church's new leader.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - Sister Lorraine Wesolowski (left), 71, of Glenshaw, and Sister Margaret Ann Ufheil, 75, of Bellevue, watch television coverage of the conclave at Sisters of Saint Francis in Millvale on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. The sisters expressed general excitement at the new Pope Francis choosing the saint of their sisterhood's namesake, Saint Francis of Assisi, who is known for his life's devotion to poverty, and for the rebuilding of the church.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review</em></div>Sister Lorraine Wesolowski (left), 71, of Glenshaw, and Sister Margaret Ann Ufheil, 75, of Bellevue, watch television coverage of the conclave at Sisters of Saint Francis in Millvale on Wednesday, March 13, 2013.  The sisters expressed general excitement at the new Pope Francis choosing the saint of their sisterhood's namesake, Saint Francis of Assisi, who is known for his life's devotion to poverty, and for the rebuilding of the church.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - A woman walks down the hall at Sisters of Saint Francis in Millvale, while a statue of Saint Francis of Assisi stands by the window on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. The sisters expressed general excitement at the new Pope Francis choosing the saint of their sisterhood's namesake, Saint Francis of Assisi, who is known for his life's devotion to poverty, and for the rebuilding of the church.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review</em></div>A woman walks down the hall at Sisters of Saint Francis in Millvale, while a statue of Saint Francis of Assisi stands by the window on Wednesday, March 13, 2013.  The sisters expressed general excitement at the new Pope Francis choosing the saint of their sisterhood's namesake, Saint Francis of Assisi, who is known for his life's devotion to poverty, and for the rebuilding of the church.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - Sister Lorraine Wesolowski, 71, of Glenshaw calls for a special devotion for Pope Francis during evening prayers at Sisters of Saint Francis in Millvale on Wednesday March 13, 2013. Several sisters commented on the newly elected pope's call to pray for him, calling it a sign of modesty.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review</em></div>Sister Lorraine Wesolowski, 71, of Glenshaw calls for a special devotion for Pope Francis during evening prayers at Sisters of Saint Francis in Millvale on Wednesday March 13, 2013.  Several sisters commented on the newly elected pope's call to pray for him, calling it a sign of modesty.
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review - St. Paul's Cathedral Rector, the Rev. Kris Stubna, texts his friends while anxiously watching the television to learn who would become the new pope on Wednesday March 13, 2013. Vickie Kobayashi, visiting from Seattle, (left) Donna Seuilli of Oakland and Eileen Lancos of Greenfield also wait in anticipation. Moments late, they learned that Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was chosen.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jasmine Goldband  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>St. Paul's Cathedral Rector, the Rev. Kris Stubna, texts his friends while anxiously watching the television to learn who would become the new pope on Wednesday March 13, 2013.  Vickie Kobayashi, visiting from Seattle, (left) Donna Seuilli of Oakland and Eileen Lancos of Greenfield also wait in anticipation. Moments late, they learned that Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was chosen.
Heidi Murrin | Tribune-Review - St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin eighth-graders Olivia Sinkule, 14, Michael Silvestre, 13, rear right, seventh-grader Gehrig Hutchison, 13, front left, and eighth-grader Coleton Hurley, 14, talk with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Wednesday March 13, 2013, about Pope Francis' election.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Heidi Murrin  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin eighth-graders Olivia Sinkule, 14, Michael Silvestre, 13, rear right, seventh-grader Gehrig Hutchison, 13, front left, and eighth-grader Coleton Hurley, 14, talk with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Wednesday March 13, 2013, about Pope Francis' election.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review - Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik talks to reporters before a news conference on Wednesday March 13, 2013, at St. Paul Seminary in Crafton. He spoke about the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis of Argentina.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Andrew Russell  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik talks to reporters before a news conference on Wednesday March 13, 2013, at St. Paul Seminary in Crafton. He spoke about the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis of Argentina.
Heidi Murrin | Tribune-Review - St. Anne eighth-graders Nicole Reyes, second from left, and Lindsay Laverty, both 14, learn that Pope Francis is from Argentina. Principal Cathy Jakubowski, left, and secretary Kellie Coffey join the two students as they watch the pontiff live on the computer in the main office on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. 'We have a pope!' they exclaimed. In the hallways, the other students shouted with excitement in the Castle Shannon school.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Heidi Murrin  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>St. Anne eighth-graders Nicole Reyes, second from left, and Lindsay Laverty, both 14, learn that Pope Francis is from Argentina. Principal Cathy Jakubowski, left, and secretary Kellie Coffey join the two students as they watch the pontiff live on the computer in the main office on Wednesday, March 13, 2013.  'We have a pope!' they exclaimed.  In the hallways, the other students shouted with excitement in the Castle Shannon school.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review - Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik prays at the podium before the start of a news conference on Wednesday March 13, 2013, in St. Paul Seminary in Crafton. He addressed the media about the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as the new pontiff. Pope Francis becomes the leader of more than 1 billion Roman Catholics.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Andrew Russell  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik prays at the podium before the start of a news conference on Wednesday March 13, 2013, in St. Paul Seminary in Crafton. He addressed the media about the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as the new pontiff. Pope Francis becomes the leader of more than 1 billion Roman Catholics.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review - Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt of the Catholic Diocese of Greensburg is jubilant about the election of the new  pope on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Brandt spoke at the Pastoral Center in Greensburg.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Sean Stipp  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt of the Catholic Diocese of Greensburg is jubilant about the election of the new  pope on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Brandt spoke at the Pastoral Center in Greensburg.
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