Latin Americans look forward to inauguration of Pope Francis

Latin Americans look forward to inauguration of Pope Francis

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Latino Catholics in Knoxville say Pope Francis is an answer to prayer. Latino Catholics in Knoxville say Pope Francis is an answer to prayer.
"I am so excited. I am so excited for him," said parishioner Therese Campbell of Knoxville. "I am so excited. I am so excited for him," said parishioner Therese Campbell of Knoxville.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The official mass to inaugurate Pope Francis as the bishop of Rome will be held on Tuesday, and Catholics around the world are anticipating that ceremony.

Latin Americans are especially excited because Pope Francis, from Argentina, is the first pope ever to be elected from Latin America.

Latino Catholics in Knoxville say Pope Francis is an answer to prayer.

As the Spanish mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Knoxville got underway Sunday, there was an air of excitement, the more than 500 parishioners overjoyed at the election of Pope Francis.

"I am so excited. I am so excited for him," said parishioner Therese Campbell of Knoxville.

"Oh it's very exciting. All my family, we are celebrating," said Rocio Gonzalez, attending Spanish mass at Sacred Heart. "I think he understands us more because of where he comes from."

Francis is the first non-European pope in 1000 years, and the Argentinian is one of their own.

"My wife and I are very happy that we finally have a pope from Latin America," said Jose Perez of Knoxville.

Father David Boettner of Sacred Heart Cathedral says Pope Francis is notoriously humble, connecting with all who follow the faith.

"He chooses to be in solidarity with the poor. To really direct the church to meet the needs of the poor," said Boettner.

He believes Pope Francis will engage Latin American Catholics.

"Someone who grew up in Latin America and understands the experience of being a Latin American in the world. I think that gives them such a great joy and a hope that this pope is going to reach out to them in a new way," said Boettner.

But also the rest of the world's one billion Catholics.

"This really is speaking to the whole world to remind them that the Catholic Church is universal," said Boettner.

Locals are looking forward to the pope's inauguration on Tuesday, and the future of the church.

"I really wish I was there in Rome so I could see it but I think it's going to be great," said Perez.

A new dawn in the Catholic church, as Pope Francis' inauguration will set the tone for his entire papacy.

Next weekend, Francis will meet with his predecessor, Pope Benedict, in what will be a unique and historic meeting between a current pope and fellow living one.

 

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