ALLOUEZ - The leader of the Green Bay Catholic Diocese spoke about the new pope Wednesday afternoon.
Once the white smoke emerged from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, churches around the Green Bay diocese welcomed the new pope with the ringing of church bells.
Wednesday afternoon, Bishop David Ricken and others from the diocese applauded as the new pope emerged on the balcony in Saint Peter's Square.
Afterwards, Ricken talked about Pope Francis, saying he didn't think the selection of a new pope would come this quickly, especially because it wasn't someone very well known.
The bishop said he's not sure why the cardinals selected an older pope. But he added they possibly chose Pope Francis because he is from Latin America, which has one of the strongest numbers of Catholics throughout the world.
"So having someone from Latin America is very significant. Secondly he's a Jesuit named after a Jesuit missionary. So that may be another reason, as well that in this era of the new evangelization, we need to reach out once again, as did Francis, to take the gospel to places that haven't heard it, or to reintroduce it," said Most Rev. David Ricken, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay.
Bishop Ricken will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving for the new pope this Sunday at 9 a.m. at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Green Bay.
All are welcome to attend.
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