Cardinal Egan Says This Is ‘The Latin American Moment’

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Catholic clergy and members of the community react to Argentine Jorge Mario Bergoglio taking leadership of the Catholic Church as Pope Francis.

He is the first Pope from the Western Hemisphere, the first Latin American, the first Jesuit and the first to choose the name Francis as his Papal moniker.

In New York, Edward Cardinal Egan, the Archbishop Emeritus of New York, said he “couldn’t be more delighted” with the selection of Bergoglio as the new pope. He said he wasn't surprised by the relatively quick decision — and that although he was pleased by the selection, he was also surprised: he thought Bergoglio wouldn't be considered a candidate because of his age (76).

The two became cardinals together in 2001. Cardinal Egan described him as someone with "extraordinary experience running things"

“He’s exactly the kind of man I think we need right now,” Egan said. “I do think this is the Latin American moment in history.”

As archbishop, he said “one-third of what I was doing” was related to the Latin American community.

(To hear a full interview with Cardinal Egan, listen to the audio above)

Meanwhile, parishioners cheered at the news outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan when the new Pope was announced.

A group of Argentine tourists outside the cathedral cheered and began chanting “Argentina!” after the announcement was made.

(To hear WNYC's Colby Hamilton's report - click the audio directly above)

Cardinal Timothy Dolan is in Rome where he helped select Pope Francis so the duties of announcing the news to the congregation at St. Patrick's fell to the church's rector, Monsignor Robert Ritchie, who said the selection was a harbinger of change.

"I think in choosing someone who is a Jesuit, and from outside of Europe," he said, "I think that's an indication of openness to change, openness to looking radically at where we are and where we have to be."

In Jersey City, New Jersey, Columbian Alejandro Ussa said he was pleasantly surprised by the choice of an Argentinian.

"It was a surprise for me actually," he said. "I'm so happy for our South American community."

Paige Devers, raised Catholic in South Jersey, said she thinks a Latin American pope makes sense.

"It definitely will bring a different perspective," she said.

The archbishop of Buenos Aires reportedly got the second-most votes after Joseph Ratzinger in the 2005 papal election, and he has long specialized in the kind of pastoral work that some say is an essential skill for the next pope.

A winner must receive 77 votes, or two-thirds of the 115, to be named pope.

Bergoglio has shown a keen political sensibility as well as the kind of self-effacing humility that fellow cardinals value highly.

The new pope is known for modernizing an Argentine church that had been among the most conservative in Latin America.

Near the cathedral in Argentina's capital, Martha Ruiz burst into tears of emotion at news that her cardinal Mario Bergoglio has been named pope. She says the news "is incredible."

Tens of thousands of people who braved cold rain to watch the smokestack atop the Sistine Chapel jumped in joy when white smoke poured out, many shouting "Habemus Papam!" or "We have a pope!" — as the bells of St. Peter's Basilica and churches across Rome tolled, signaling a pontiff had been chosen.

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Comments [23]

Brad Gorman from Patten

Did the Fuhrer cut a deal with the Gestapo to hand the ropes over to Himmler in 8 years, "if I live so long",and he lived so long!

Or the Holy Father is tired of all the Vatbizz and wanted to indulge with his remaining celerity in his beloved sforim and pilpul. He had bested the Gee!-Zu-It?! 8 years ago, and like Siegfried and Mahdi and Eliyahu, retired to the Mitzpeh to watch the hounds of hell. And strike when necessary.

Mar. 14 2013 07:20 AM
Suzanne Wiedel-Pace from New York City

I am an ordained Protestant minister, a chaplain and a social worker and I have been enormously moved by the election of Pope Francis who will stand for the poor and dis-enfrachised persons with HIV/AIDS with whom I work. Recently, I have been talking to my clients about Seuss's Horton the Who, the elephant who hears the voices of the small and unheard, just as Jesus did. While this may sound sacrirelgious to some,it sounds as though this extraordinary man will be like the elephant, and Jesus, in his compassion and ability to hear. Hopefully, he will be able to bring others along as Horton did not succeed in doing. The new Pope brings hope to our world which often feels hopeless and his election is already inspiring non-Catholics as much as it does Catholics.

Mar. 13 2013 11:53 PM
bill ducks

I hear they burned wrong smoke.Turns out new cardnial is a Jew!!! Ha Ha Ha Ha HA ......

Mar. 13 2013 11:18 PM

i've read few comments... wow... we've already lost something...

Mar. 13 2013 10:50 PM
beaglelover from Queens

The new pope probably took the name Francis because of St. Francis Xavier,a Jesuit who was the Apostle to India, not St. Francis of Assisi.
I do not think that this Pope will be liberal in the American sense of the word. That would be too much to expect from any cardinal who was appointed by John Paul or Benedict, both very conservative Pontiffs.
My hope is that he will clean house the way Jesus drove the money changers out of the temple. The Church needs a major overhaul from within. The Vatican Bank is corrupt, the Curia is moribund and the faithful need a pastor who will restore the vision that Jesus had. Love your neighbor, follow the Sermon on the Mount.
I have been sorely distressed by the wayward path the Church has been taking. I am praying that this man can get us on the right road once again. If he can't, at least he won't be around for 25 years like John Paul. That was tough!

Mar. 13 2013 08:31 PM
marc harper

Sorry to post again, but is anyone a little nauseated by NPR's coverage here? Why are NONE of the difficult questions being asked? Why is Catholicism beyond such scrutiny from such a respected news source?

Mar. 13 2013 07:14 PM
marc harper

So it looks like the new guy is a social conservative. Is this what we need in the 21st century? What is his position on prosecuting those guilty of child abuse and preventing it in the future. No word on that yet? Same OLD same old...?

Mar. 13 2013 06:58 PM

The president of Argentina has characterized the new pope's position on homosexuality as reminiscent of "medieval times and the Inquisition."

According to Wikipedia:

Cardinal Bergoglio has encouraged his clergy and laity to oppose both abortion and euthanasia, describing the pro-choice movement as a "culture of death".[24] He supports the use of contraception to prevent the spread of disease;[25] yet he opposed the free distribution of contraceptives in Argentina.[26]

He has affirmed church teaching on homosexuality, including that men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies must be accepted with respect and compassion.[27] He opposed the gay rights movement as "demonic in origin"[28] and strongly, but ultimately unsuccessfully, opposed legislation introduced in 2010 by the Argentine Government to allow same-sex marriage, calling it a "real and dire anthropological throwback."[29] In a letter to the monasteries of Buenos Aires, he wrote: "Let's not be naïve, we're not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God."[30] He has also insisted that gay adoption is a form of discrimination against children. This position received a rebuke from Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who said the church's tone was reminiscent of "medieval times and the Inquisition."[31]

Nothing new for the Church. Same old mindless bigotry and hatred.

Mar. 13 2013 05:23 PM
Jim from NYC

Is he really "Francis the First"?
Isn't he just "Francis"? As there is no other.
Say - Francis the Only?
How can there be a first when there's no second, third or fourth.
How canm I be "Jim Sr" when there is not Jr.?

Mar. 13 2013 04:38 PM
GCL from Astoria Queens

I, too, am like another commentator. And I am nearly appalled at that closing of mind concerning some of these. Please folks let us remember that for the past 2000 years or so, they, too, thought they were right. They aren't either, but they do require some respect.

Mar. 13 2013 04:15 PM
Adrienne Hickey

I am not a Catholic and don't care personally who the new Pope is. But I am appalled at the stupidity of the comments posted thus far. These are NPR/NYC listeners? I thought this group (my group) was more intelligent than this.

Mar. 13 2013 04:08 PM
Glen from Narrowsburg, NY

Many years ago someone asked my nice Jewish mother what she thought about Jesus and she said, "I don't."

That's not the insult that some may assume. She's not against Jesus -- he's just not on her radar.

Like mother like son. What do I think about the new pope?

I don't.

And again that's no slight at the new pope or the many Catholics who are excited by the choice. I wish them all well.

Mar. 13 2013 04:08 PM
Adrienne Hickey

I am not a Catholic and don't care personally who the new Pope is. But I am appalled at the stupidity of the comments posted thus far. These are NPR/NYC listeners? I thought this group (my group) was more intelligent than this.

Mar. 13 2013 04:08 PM
Adrienne Hickey

I am not a Catholic and don't care personally who the new Pope is. But I am appalled at the stupidity of the comments posted thus far. These are NPR/NYC listeners? I thought this group (my group) was more intelligent than this.

Mar. 13 2013 04:07 PM
John from NJ

Read about the historic implications of a Jesuit pope in "Behold a Pale Horse" by William Cooper.

Mar. 13 2013 03:50 PM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

Wow....NYC callers seem to be a bit jaded. Giving Hockenberry fits! The first caller over the new pope's sexuality and the third caller stating that all Italian bishops are pedophiles.

Good luck to the new pope and keeping the church relevant in our changing world.

Mar. 13 2013 03:44 PM
fuva from harlemworld

Whooaaaa. Angelo is blowing up spots from day one. Say word!

Mar. 13 2013 03:34 PM
maria from upstate new york

When I was in the first grade of catholic grade school, the second graders made sure to let us know not to be alone with the Monsignor--he would do things that were weird and that you wouldn't like. So my relationship to both religion and sex were at that moment forever compromised.
This guy was nailed decades later. Catholic administrators moved him to another parish where he was again an active pedophile.
When will the Catholic church bring these people to justice? Or are they just waiting for god to do it after they're dead?
There is no joy in my heart when I hear about the catholic church.

Mar. 13 2013 03:32 PM

...was suppose ta be over the "R"!!


Mar. 13 2013 03:21 PM

A B S U R D!!!

Mar. 13 2013 03:19 PM
Bill from Massapequa

Just as pitchers tend to be poor hitters and hitters tend to be poor pitchers, good pastors tend to be mediocre theologians and vice versa. As brilliant as the Pontiff Emeritus is, frequently the emphasis was on the wrong syllable. It takes a unique skill to turn theology into effective practice without getting distracted from petty politics.

Were I a Cardinal, I'd've voted for Scherer.

Mar. 13 2013 03:12 PM
Excited non-Catholic from NYC

Hee-hee...What if the smoke guy loaded the wrong color and now they're rushing to choose someone to not spoil it?

Mar. 13 2013 02:57 PM
Bill from NewRochelle

THE NEW POPE; our The Holy See....I can't believe it! Oh No... It .... IT IT....IT'S DONALD TRUMP !!!

Mar. 13 2013 02:53 PM

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