Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Latin America hails its pope

Women at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina, react upon hearing that Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio was chosen as pope, the first from Latin America.

Associated Press

Women at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina, react upon hearing that Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio was chosen as pope, the first from Latin America.

About Argentina

Population: 2.2 million

GDP per capita: $18, 200 (2012)

Religion: 90% Catholic, 2% Protestant, 2% Jewish, 4 % other.



BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Latin Americans burst into tears and cheers on Wednesday at news that an Argentine cardinal has become the first pope from the hemisphere, expressing hope that he will better understand the region that is home to more Catholics than any other.

Cars honked their horns through the streets of Argentina's capital and television announcers screamed with elation at the news that the cardinal they knew as Jorge Mario Bergoglio had become Pope Francis.

"It's incredible!" said Martha Ruiz, 60, who was weeping after learning that the cardinal she knew as Jorge Mario Bergoglio will now be Pope Francis.

She said she had been in many meetings with the cardinal and said, "He is a man who transmits great serenity."

Cars honked their horns as the news spread and television announcers screamed with elation and surprise and Catholics began flooding toward the cathedral, where Ana Maria Perez and a few dozen other women had been waiting for the announcement.

"He is going to be the pope of the street," she said, referring to Bergoglio's habit of taking the subways alongside working class Argentines.

"It's a huge gift for all of Latin America. We waited 20 centuries. It was worth the wait," said Jose Antonio Cruz, a Franciscan friar at the church of St. Francis of Assisi in the colonial Old San Juan district in Puerto Rico.

"Everyone from Canada down to Patagonia is going to feel blessed," he said after exchanging high-fives with church secretary Antonia Veloz.

In Cuba, parish priest Gregorio Alvarez said he believes Pope Francis' background could lead the church to focus more on the ills afflicting humanity, and less on internal issues.

"One hopes that the church will be closer to the problems of humankind and not only the problems of the church," Alvarez said at the Jesus of Miramar Church in a leafy western suburb of Havana, where bells pealed following the announcement.

For some of the poor, the choice has already brought benefits. Juan Carlos Alarcon, a 58-year-old street vendor, came to the Buenos Aires cathedral with a load of Argentine flags to sell.

"I have to take advantage of this historic moment to feed my family," he said.

About Argentina

Population: 2.2 million

GDP per capita: $18, 200 (2012)

Religion: 90 percent Catholic, 2 percent Protestant, 2 percent Jewish, 4 percent other.

Latin America hails its pope 03/13/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 9:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Memorial service sparks wistful memories for daughter of slain Hillsborough deputy

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — As the somber notes of "Taps" sounded in a stiff breeze, Sherri Longway thought about her father.

    
Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee, far left, stands with his hand over his heart along with others during the HCSO's annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service Wednesday, May 24, 2017 in the Ybor City area Tampa. Sheriff David Gee along with dignitaries and members of the sheriff's office paid tribute to members of the Sheriff's Office who have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.
  2. Editorial: Super Bowl yardsticks for bay area

    Editorials

    From the moment they arrive, Super Bowl fans returning to Tampa for the NFL title game in 2021 will see and experience an entirely new Tampa Bay region. Whether it's the expanded airport, the growing universities and thriving downtowns or the new entertainment destinations and incubators for business, visitors will feel …

    From the moment they arrive, Super Bowl fans returning to Tampa for the NFL title game in 2021 will see and experience an entirely new Tampa Bay region.
  3. Convicted murderer whose release Pam Bondi fears will stay behind bars

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Tampa police officer convicted in 1980 of murdering a security guard will not be released from prison after a parole hearing that Attorney General Pam Bondi said could have put her at risk.

    Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi arrives for an injunction hearing at the Hillsborough County Courthouse, Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in Tampa, regarding William Norman Wilkes, the man she alleges has been stalking her. On Wednesday, the Florida Commission on Offender Review is set to consider whether to let Charles Norman, a former Tampa police officer convicted of murder, will seek his possible release. Bondi says Norman has sent her threats. "He is a menace to society and needs to remain behind bars," Bondi said.   [Loren Elliott | Tampa Bay Times]
  4. Romano: On this education bill, you decide who is evil

    Politics

    The political ramifications are not lost on Kristine Benson.

    Six-year-old Chase Benson was born with down syndrome and autism. He attends a private school in Palm Harbor through a Gardiner Scholarship. [Photo courtesy of Kris Benson]
  5. St. Petersburg police team with federal agencies to crack down on gun and drug offenders (w/video)

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — Police say Raymond Adams, 29, jumped a fence to break into a home in the 800 block of 51st Street Avenue S.

    Some of the guns confiscated during an eight month firearms, drug trafficking, and violent crime operation dubbed the St. Petersburg Violent Crime Reduction Initiative were on display Wednesday, 5/24/17 at the St. Petersburg Police Department.  Federal charges have been filed against 35 individuals and state charges have been filled against 9 individuals in St. Petersburg. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times