Tucker Reacts to Papal Choice
Mixed feelings and expectations from locals after the conclave ends.
Residents of Tucker reacted Wednesday to news that a new pope had been chosen to succeed Benedict XVI, who resigned last month due to failing health.
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, 76, now becomes Francis I and the spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide.
Mike Walshe, walking to his car outside Holy Cross Catholic Church, said, "it's a good choice. I'm not aware of what kind of cardinal he was, but he seems to have plenty of energy at 76."
"It's pretty exciting," said Catechist Frank Kaliner, who was busy teaching a group of kids at the church. "People want to know more about his past, how he grew up, how he can relate to them."
Holy Cross, on Chamblee-Tucker Road, serves the Hispanic community. Daisy Padron, speaking in Spanish, told Patch, "we should be pleased about it, one way or another. There must be a reason why they chose him."
Another parishioner, Jorge Rodriguez, said he had just come from work and hadn't heard the news, but was surpirised when told that the new pope, his namesake, was from South America. "He's the first Latino, right?"
Two young mothers, watching their children play outside the main chapel, addressed recent scandals in the Catholic Church. Marisol Lopez, also speaking in Spanish, said, "some of what they're saying is true, but not all of it," she said. Her friend, Dilcia Reyes, said, "I hope he has what it takes to be pope, and that he takes these things seriously."
Other locals weighed in as well. Julie Skelton, a parent at St. Pius X Catholic High School, said she believed a pope from Argentina would offer something new, which American Catholics are looking for. "By being somebody from somewhere other [than Europe], it's a chance and a hope for a new perspective... I think American Catholics are looking for that."
What do you think about this choice? Is Francis the right man for the job? How can he repair the Church's damaged reputation? Tell us in the comments below-
Jonathan Cribbs, editor of North Druid Hills-Briarcliff Patch, contributed to this article