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New Pope Francis Selected: Oakton Catholics React

The white smoke appeared on Wednesday, signaling the conclave had chosen Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio to be the new head of the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church has a new Pope now that the conclave of Catholic leaders have cast their ballots for Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a Jesuit from Argentina. 

Pope Benedict XVI stepped down from his position Feb. 28, citing failing strength of “mind and body." The new Pope has taken on the name Francis I.

While Oakton doesn't have any Catholic churches, many students and families attend Saint Mark's Church off of Lawyers Road in Vienna. 

St. Mark's Church staff members were watching the white smoke and subsequent announcement live online this afternoon.

"We're all just really excited," said Jean Lupiancci, who answered the office phone.

She said the group was happy the pope was not European.

"He seems to be a fairly simple man and the fact that he's from Argentina is very important to us," she said. "He's representing parts of the world that need to be represented."  

Students at the church's school each picked cardinal to pray for throughout the selection process, Lupiancci said .

Pope Francis, 76, was created a cardinal by Pope John Paull II and is known for riding the bus to work in Buenos Aires and championing the poor, according to The Guardian.

The Guardian reports that as cardinal, Bergoglio took a stance against gay marriage, but supported the use of contraception to prevent disease.

What's your reaction to the news? Tell us in the comments.

Beth March 13, 2013 at 09:52 PM
St. Mark School students were able to watch the live streaming of the announcement of this historic event.
virginiasooner March 14, 2013 at 12:23 AM
St. Mark is on Vale, not Lawyers Road.
virginiasooner March 14, 2013 at 12:24 AM
Jean's last name is Lupinacci.

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