CORNWALL, Ontario - The leader of Catholics in the Cornwall area said he is looking forward to weeks and months ahead as Pope Francis I takes the reigns of the papacy in Rome.
Bishop Marcel Damphousse of the Alexandria-Cornwall Diocese told Seaway News he was in a Toronto airport watching television and waiting like everyone else when the white smoke was pouring from a Vatican chimney.
“It was exciting news,” said Damphousse. “I was pleasantly surprised – he was not a name that figured on the (radar) but he was a very strong contender in the last conclave.”
Pope Francis is the first member of the Jesuit order to be named the Bishop of Rome, which Damphousse believes will add a different chapter to the Catholic church’s ability to evangelize.
“There’s always a first for a lot of things,” said Damphousse. “But knowing that he’s a Jesuit, I think our church is in great need for a push for more evangelization.
“Because if has an affinity for the Jesuit order, I hope he will be able to bring something to the church to move in that direction.
“I’m looking forward to what he will bring.”