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Local reaction to choosing of new pope

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Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013 12:24 pm | Updated: 9:02 pm, Fri Apr 12, 2013.

SARASOTA - Here on the Suncoast, many Catholics are celebrating the election of Pope Francis.

We spoke with one priest at Christ the King Catholic Church, where the selection of the new pope seemed to inspire more to come out.

Father Austin says mass was busier than usual on Thursday morning, but now we will have to wait and see what changes may come with a new pope.

He says while nothing in the faith changes, he does expect to see some other changes with the Catholic Church's new leadership.

As we know, Pope Francis is a Jesuit and Father Austin speculates his choosing of "Francis" was based on his love of mission and poverty.

He also says as the conclave knew going into this, a Latin American pope is desirable due to their concern for the poor and disenfranchised. That’s something Father Austin says is important to the faith, especially in these times. “I think what we do see today is a lot of people who are disenfranchised in many ways, not only economically, but also spiritually, so I think both of those, a love and special care for the poor as well as a special care for those who are maybe lost or not spiritually rooted... Great gifts will be.”

“He's a Jesuit, he's an order priest, and also he focuses on the poor and of course all through the gospels and reading them, Jesus always favored the poor and I think that's the big thing,” says Paul Mullin.

It's those qualities that Father Austin says will be so important during this day and age.

People say they look forward to what Pope Francis will offer as leader of the Catholic Church.

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