The image of a Johnston, Rhode Island boy being cradled and kissed by Pope Francis has brought people around the world to tears. Now, his parents are speaking out about the extraordinary encounter.
It happened Easter morning after Mass. Among the thousands of people who thronged St. Peter’s Square to see newly installed Pope Francis, the pontiff chose to stop his Popemobile to hug eight-year-old Dominic Gondreau of Johnston.
Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin was among the 200,000 people who thronged Vatican City Tuesday for the installation mass of Pope Francis. The Catholic congressman called it one of the most meaningful and spiritual experiences of his life.
Langevin was part of a congressional delegation that represented the United States at the investiture of Pope Francis. The Rhode Island democrat says he was thrilled and honored to be there.
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.
RI defense companies are concerned about pending federal program cuts. A PC professor does not think a cardinal from this region will be elected pope. These stories and more on the RIPR Morning News Podcast. And Political Commentator Scott MacKay wonders why municipalities in RI have a hard time working together.
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Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin says he was stunned by the announcement that Pope Benedict the XVI will step down at the end of the month. Bishop Tobin met the pope a couple of times and was struck by his intellect and humility.
“He is a very gentle man, you get that sense in meeting him in person,” says Tobin. “He’s a very humble, gentle man who took this tremendous burden on his shoulders, somewhat reluctantly I believe.”