SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese in San Diego said Wednesday he was "delighted" at the selection of Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina as pope.
Bergoglio, of Buenos Aires, is the first leader of the worldwide Catholic Church to come from the Americas. He will be known as Pope Francis.
Asked his reaction at a news conference, Bishop Robert Brom said he was "delighted and surprised, surprised because the selection of this pope represents a shift from Europe to Latin America."
Brom said he doesn't know the new pope personally, but said he was impressed that the new pontiff asked people to pray for him.
In a statement released to the media at the news conference, Brom said, "With the Catholic Church worldwide, all of us in the Catholic Diocese of San Diego embrace with love our new universal pastor, Pope Francis. We look to Pope Francis to be a humble instrument of unity of peace and in the world. We pray that he will be led by the spirit of Jesus to champion a new evangelization in order to place God at the center of all human life and culture. We pray that he will address problems in the church and in the world by promoting those values and practice which true to Saint Francis of Assisi, will bring about a civilization of love. We anticipate that Pope Francis will manifest the same shepherd's care we found in Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, and for which we are grateful."
The Jesuit is known for his humble nature and as an intellectual, along with his work with the poor.