At the news conference Bishop George Sheltz expressed his support for newly elected Pope Francis.
“We congratulate him and we pledge our unending support for him and we ask that God bless the Holy Father for many years to come as he leads our church into the 21st century.”
Not only is Pope Francis the first non-European pontiff in more than a thousand years, but he’s from this side of the world – Argentina to be exact.
Bishop George Sheltz
Bishop Sheltz says this resonates with the high number of Latin-American Catholics here in Houston.
“Our Hispanic population is growing, they’re coming in from all parts of Latin America and not just from Mexico but from Argentina, from Brazil, from Ecuador, Peru, everywhere. It has to speak wholly to them that the church realizes that they are an important group.”
James Kresta and his wife attended mass at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart downtown shortly before the white smoke in Rome announced the election of the new pope. Kresta says he’s in favor of finally having a pope from a place other than Europe.
“I think we need a change, and I think it’s going to be a good change. I think we’re going to see some changes for the better.”
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Cardinal Daniel DiNardo was among those charged with electing the new head of the Catholic Church.