Local bishop says Pope brings sense of dignity to church
THE Catholic Church has a new Pope - and in Gladstone, leaders are happy to have him.
Gladstone is in the Rockhampton diocese - and the region's Bishop Brian Heenan has welcomed the appointment of Pope Francis.
He believes the new Pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, will bring something new and different to the 2000-year-old organisation.
"I have a deep sense that we'll be learning, and it'll be music to our ears or give us the confidence that a new era could be beginning in the church," Bishop Heenan said.
"His very appearance at the Vatican (on Thursday morning), he didn't have all the papal gear on and simply said good evening to everyone.
"He brings a sense to dignity to all people and the need to reach out to all people.
"He seems to have a preference to direct his mission to the poor people of the world, and you can be poor in a 100 different ways."
Meanwhile, Bishop Heenan said he was surprised the new pope had been elected so quickly.
"I thought this would take longer, but it hasn't. I was surprised because I haven't heard this good man mentioned very much.
"But I discovered that he had been considered last time too, so the cardinals would have known him fairly well.
"There's a lot to learn about him (the pope) as the months unfold."
About the Pope:
- Born on Dec 17, 1936
- From Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Holds degrees as a chemical technician and in philosophy