The leader of Rhode Island’s Roman Catholics reacted positively to the selection of the first pope from South America. Bishop Thomas Tobin was watching the news when Pope Francis was introduced to the world.
The bells of the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul pealed wildly when white smoke emerged from the Sistine Chapel in Rome, indicating a new pope had been elected. Inside the Providence diocesan offices, Bishop Thomas Tobin and several staff members watched on TV as the new pope emerged from St. Peter’s Basilica.
Tobin seemed unfamiliar with the new pontiff, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina. But he expressed confidence in the cardinals’ selection.
“This is someone who’s well known to the cardinals and obviously well respected,” says Tobin. “And the cardinals must have felt very strongly this is the right man for this tremendous office at this point in history. So that gives me a great deal of confidence.”
Tobin called Pope Francis a wonderful new shepherd for the Catholic Church, adding it is springtime in the Catholic Church.
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