Leader of Harrisburg Diocese thrilled with selection of Pope Francis

Written by Tim Lambert and Radio Pennsylvania | Mar 13, 2013 6:35 PM

Photo by Matt Paul, Radio Pennsylvania

(Harrisburg) --- The leader of more than 240,000 Roman Catholics in 15 midstate counties is praising the selection of Pope Francis.

To Bishop Joseph McFadden of the Harrisburg Diocese, the interest the past few days over who would be elected as the next pope has shown the Catholic Church is very relevant today, despite its problems.

He says Pope Francis is a man who is able to walk among the people.

"I think the most important thing he can do for us is to reaffirm the church's love for the poor and the marginalized and also to direct the church to what is its main mission," he says. "It is to proclaim Jesus Christ as the savior of the world. Most importantly, to speak to the downtrodden, to the lonely and to say they are not alone.

McFadden says by choosing the name "Francis," the Pope reminds Catholics around the globe of Francis of Assisi, a saint who lived a humble life in poverty.

The bishop adds he believes the selection of a 76-year-old Cardinal is a sign from God.  "God turns everything upside down. In choosing, perhaps Francis, again the Lord has said, 'Look, the world may think you need youth. But, what I think is I need a believer,'" he sais. "So, here we have a Pope who in the eyes of the world, you may say is old, but in the eyes of God, he's young."

Pope Francis, who hails from Argentina, is the first-ever pope from the Americas and the first Jesuit pope.


The Diocese has provided a video of Bishop McFadden's press conference regarding the selection of Pope Francis:

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