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The Pope announces his resignation

Pope Benedict  said on Monday he will resign on Feb. 28 because he no longer has the strength to fulfill the duties of his office, becoming the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to step down.

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pope francis

Rome (CNN) — Standing before a large crowd in St. Peter’s Square,  Pope Francis took part in his official installation mass.

The new pontiff saluted the crowd as he was driven through the square before the ceremony, taking time to hold and kiss babies that were held up to him by the faithful. He also stepped out of his vehicle to kiss a man with a physical disability.

Pope Francis then proceeded into St. Peter’s Basilica, where he was presented with the papal pallium, a lamb’s wool shawl, and the fisherman’s ring, which symbolizes the papacy. He then received the wool stole symbolizing his role as shepherd of his 1.2-billion strong flock.

The pope delivered his homily in Italian, rooted in a message of looking after the weakest in society and the environment.

Read more about the installation mass on CNN.

Pope Francis I appears on the central balconyThousands of Catholic faithfuls welcomed their new pope in St. Peter’s square, for Pope Francis’ first public mass. This morning, Fr. Jonathan Sawicki from St. Mary’s Catholic church in York joined WPMT FOX43 morning news with more on what this mass means for the 1.2 billion Catholics across the world.

Harrisburg – Habemus papam. “We have a Pope.”  The news rang out across the world yesterday.  The shock waves resonated from the Vatican to Central Pennsylvania where the new Pope is being met with open arms and eager eyes.

There are so many firsts associated with the selection of Pope Francis.  He is the first ever Pope Francis.  He is the first Pope from South America.  He is also the first ever Jesuit leader of the Catholic Church.  With all of these firsts, many hope that the Pope’s nomination will bring with it a renewed sense of belief in the Catholic Church.

The new Pope was introduced to the world last night at the Vatican.  Formerly Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, the 76-year-old is the first ever Pope to hail from South America.  He also becomes the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years.

His name is in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, a 12th century saint who decided against a life of wealth, instead choosing a life of poverty and service. His elevation on the second day of the conclave came as a surprise, with many Vatican watchers expecting a longer deliberation, and none predicting the conservative 76-year-old Bergoglio would get the nod.

Bishop Joseph McFadden of the Archdiocese of Harrisburg is predicting great things for the Catholic Church’s new leader.

“The church has its problem.  The church has had troubles.  The church has not been faithful in proclaiming the gospel the way it should.  I think all believers deep in their heart understand, the message the church delivers is the message that resonates with the human heart,” said Bishop McFadden.

Pope Francis is the first-ever Jesuit leader of the Catholic Church.  The Jesuits are known for their commitment to the poor and disenfranchised.  The former Archbishop of Buenos Aires is known for giving up his posh residence and driver, instead choosing a simple life.  He was known to ride the bus to work and live in a simple apartment where he cooked his own meals.

Many people all across the world are hoping this appointment signifies the willingness of the church to change.  Two-thirds of the 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide are from outside of Europe, including an estimated 66 million right here in the U.S.

To celebrate the installation of the new Pope, Bishop Joseph McFadden will be holding a mass at Saint Patrick’s at noon tomorrow.


Local reaction to the new Pope

The world’s catholic cardinals have spoken, and Argentine cardinal, Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been chosen as the next Pope, taking the name Pope Francis I.
This morning, Father Jon Sawicki from St. Mary’s in York joined WPMT FOX43 morning news to share his thoughts about the selection.

Local News

Local Catholics celebrate election of Pope Francis

Members of the Catholic Church in Central Pennsylvania are celebrating the election of Pope Francis after two days of the conclave.

A group of staff and students at St. Anne School in Lancaster gathered to watch the pontiff’s first address to Catholics around the world.

“It’s a time to celebrate, it’s a time to rejoice, we have a new leader leading us,” said St. Anne Principal Suzanne Wood. “It’s just a very happy celebration.”

For a Catholic school especially, it’s also a great lesson on history in the making for students.

“They were trying to make a memory today,” said Jan Molchany, who teaches 8th graders at St. Anne School. “Let’s remember this, let’s remember where we were and what we were doing when the pope was elected.”

Bishop Joseph McFadden of the Diocese of Harrisburg said the election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina as leader of the Catholic church speaks volumes.

“I think it’s acknowledgement that the Catholic Church is more than just a European religion,” McFadden said. “That it encompasses the whole world.”

Many Catholics said the new pope, and his message of coming together as brothers and sisters, is just what the church needs right now.

“Our hope is, is that we celebrate the unity of our Catholic faith,” Wood said. “We are all Catholics, we are all one and we just join together in unity and celebration.”

Local celebrations are being planned to honor Pope Francis.

On Friday, a noon mass will be held in St. Patrick Cathedral in Harrisburg.

Jorge Mario BergoglioBy Michael Martinez, (CNN) — Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, the new pope, is breaking historic ground by choosing the name Francis.

It’s the first time the name is being used by a pope, said CNN Vatican expert John Allen.

The name parallels one of the most venerated figures in the Roman Catholic Church, St. Francis of Assisi.

Allen described the name of Pope Francis as “the most stunning” choice and “precedent shattering.”

“There are cornerstone figures in Catholicism” such as St. Francis, Allen said. Figures of such stature as St. Francis seem “irrepeatable — that there can be only one Francis,” Allen added.

The name symbolizes “poverty, humility, simplicity and rebuilding the Catholic Church,” Allen said.

“The new pope is sending a signal that this will not be business as usual,” Allen said.

National & World News

Pope Francis gives remarks

(CNN) — Pope Francis said Wednesday night from Vatican City, “The duty of the conclave was to appoint a bishop of Rome and it seems to me that my brother cardinals have chosen one who is from far away, but here I am.”

After saying the Our Father prayer, the newly elected Pope Francis said Wednesday night, “Let us pray always for one another. Let us pray for the whole world … Let us have a big brotherhood.”

National & World News

Pope from Argentina announced

(CNN) — Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina has been elected the next pope, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran announced Wednesday night from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica. He will be known as Pope Francis.

(CNN) — White smoke has risen from above the Sistine Chapel, indicating that Roman Catholic cardinals have elected a successor to Pope Benedict XVI. The new pope succeeds Pope Benedict XVI, who became the first pope to resign in hundreds of years. He stepped down February 28, citing advanced age.