The bishop of Springfield was at a personnel meeting in Carlinville when the white smoke half a world away ended, as Bishop Thomas John Paprocki puts it, another personnel meeting.
Paprocki is excited that the new pope is, for the first time, a Westerner. And he says the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (pictured), archbishop of Buenos Aires -- now Pope Francis -- is a man of integrity, humility, and tradition. “I think Pope Francis indeed will have a very positive impact here in North America; one (reason) is because of the proximity of our continent” to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
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Paprocki says he finds it interesting that the scuttlebutt among “so-called experts” was that, also for the first time, Americans were at least in the discussion.
As far as changes the world’s Catholics can expect under Pope Francis, Paprocki says not to expect anything big; tradition is “sort of the job description.”