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Locals reacting to new pope

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Catholics at Saint Mathew Roman Catholic Church in Downtown Monroe had a special prayer Wednesday evening. They're asking a higher power to watch over the newly elected pope. He was revealed to the world Wednesday. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was introduced to world, who will now be known as Pope Francis I.

"This is our first American Pope. Now, granted, he's from South America but that's very exciting," Scott Brandle said.

Brandle, currently studying to be a deacon in the church, believes there's a happier tone during this selection process than in previous years. That's because the previous pope retired and is still alive.

Although there's a new leader, Brandle has faith the church will continue to put a stop to the child sex scandals.

"I would say the church is probably the safest place that you can be or that your children can be at this point because of all that the church has done," Brandle said.

With the change in leadership, some in our area say now is the time for Catholics to return to church services.

"Maybe get more people involved, more Catholics may come back to church," Pashal Odidika said.

Internally, many believers are waiting to see if Pope Francis will be traditional or a reformer.

"As for this pope and how he will direct that, I think that's part of the excitement, I don't think anyone really knows,"Brandle said.

This is also the first in modern era from the western hemisphere.

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