According to Newsmax, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, said that the election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina as the new pontiff “marks a great milestone in our church.”
Dolan said that the new pope, a Jesuit, told the cardinals that he took his name after St. Francis of Assisi, not St. Francis Xavier, who was one of the founders of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuit order.
Dolan, who participated in the conclave that led to the new pontiff’s election, said, “As successor to Peter, our first pope, Pope Francis stands as the figure of unity for all Catholics wherever they reside.”
National Catholic Reporter reports that Dolan described Pope Francis as “the inspired choice of the College of Cardinals.”
The head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Dolan referred to former Cardinal Bergoglio as “a wonderfully simple man.”
However, despite the fact that the new pontiff “comes across as shy and reserved,” Dolan said that he is also “a man of confidence and poise.”
Dolan described the story of how the newly elected Pope Francis decided to take the bus back to the residence near the Vatican with the rest of the cardinals.
According to CBS, Cardinal Dolan related:
So we take the buses over and cardinals kind of wait outside to greet the new Holy Father as he comes back to Doma Santa Marta… and as the last bus pulls up, guess who gets off the bus? Pope Francis. So, I guess he told the driver, “That’s OK. I’ll just go with the guys on the bus.”
Dolan said that following his introduction to the world as the new pontiff, Pope Francis told fellow cardinals that he had to return to the residence so that he could collect his luggage and pay his bill at the desk.
“We’ll sleep well tonight, knowing that the Church is in good hands,” said Dolan.
Vatican Radio describes the new pontiff as both humble and spontaneous. Father Federico Lombardi, Director of the Holy See’s Press Office and a Jesuit like Pope Francis, said that following his election, Pope Francis did not sit on the special chair to receive the oath of obedience from the other cardinals. Lombardi said that the new pope preferred to stand; he also chose the simple white cassock and his own cross when he was introduced to the world.
Lombardi also related a humorous story regarding the “festive and joyful dinner” shared by the cardinals and their new pontiff following Pope Francis’ blessing on the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square. Lombardi said that the Holy Father thanked the cardinals during the meal and joked, “May God forgive you for what you have done!”
Lombardi said that on Thursday, Pope Francis paid a surprise early morning visit to the Marian basilica of St. Mary Major, where he prayed and later spoke by telephone to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
According to Lombardi, the pontiff will meet with all the cardinals on Friday and will pray his first Angelus and offer his blessing from the window of the papal study. The Papal Inauguration Mass will be held on Tuesday, March 19th at 9:30 AM.