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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
The election of the new pope
was closely watched in northwest Ohio. Now local Catholic authorities are
weighing-in on the decision.
It's not often that Toledo
Catholic Diocese Bishop Leonard Blair admits he was nervous, but that's how he
felt Wednesday afternoon when the white smoke first appeared at the Vatican.
He spoke not long after
Pope Francis made his first appearance to the world. The bishop said he doesn't
expect Pope Francis to stray from the doctrine of the Church, but he does
expect some changes from the first pope from the "New World."
"Everybody looks for
people with new ideas and a perspective that will enliven the Church and renew
the Church, and I think that is inevitable that this happens, and it has got to
happen, and it should happen," Blair said.
Francis is also the first
pope from the Jesuit order, known as the Society of Jesus. This caused
excitement at Toledo's St. John's Jesuit High School.
"A lot of times we have
reputations of being very liberal of very conservative," said Father Thomas
Doyle of St. John's. "I think it does demonstrate the full spectrum of the
Society of Jesus. It certainly confirms some of the work we've been doing,
especially in the realm of social justice and social ethics."
The chair of Catholic
Studies at the University of Toledo, Peter Feldmeier, said that as Cardinal
Bergoglio, Francis showed a warm, caring demeanor, and he has what it takes to
move the Catholic Church forward.
"He is very conservative
theologically about traditional family values and the Church's teaching about
the family and sex and so on," Feldmeier said. "At the same time, he has
reached out profoundly to victims of HIV/AIDS in Buenos Aires."
Bishop Blair said all
Catholics should rejoice, and pray.
"May God grant him long
life, health, and strength for the road that lies before him," he said.