North East Catholic community welcome new Pope with hope and prayer (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DST to 80360 or email us
North East Catholic community welcome new Pope with hope and prayer
PROMINENT Catholics from across the North East have come forward to praise the election Pope Francis I and express hope for his Papacy.
The Right Reverend Terence Drainey, Bishop of Middlesbrough, said: “The election of Pope Francis I to the See of St Peter is an expression of the Holy Spirit working to renew and enliven the Church.
“We join in prayer with the whole Catholic world begging Almighty God to bless Pope Francis I with all the gifts that he needs to guide the Church.”
Stephen Hughes, M.E.P for the North East, criticized the last Pope’s attitude towards equality in the UK. Speaking about the new Pope he said: “I hope he will work to improve conditions for those in poverty and increase social mobility.
“I’m a little bit concerned to hear about allegations he was involved in the so called ‘dirty war’ in Argentina but he’s denied it and as a Catholic I hope that’s true.”
Pope Francis is the first South American Pope, the first Jesuit Pope, and the first non-European to hold the post for 1,300 years.
Very Reverend John Loughlin, Canon of St Clare’s church in Middlesbrough, said: “In my opinion the media the representation of Pope Benedict was not fair to the man so it will be interesting to see how that whole area of Church life evolves.
“What the election will mean for the people of this Parish, I honestly don’t know. Every Mass we pray for the Pope and I can only hope his style of leadership and service will encourage people to worship God and to let Jesus find a place in their lives.”
Pope Francis is also the first of his name which is an unusual and symbolic move. Popes are free to choose any name they want but usually choose one based on whose Papacy they wish to imitate. Pope Francis says he took the name from St Francis of Assisi.
Canon Bob Spence, parish priest of All Saints Catholic Church in Durham, said: “I particularly like his choice of name because St Francis was told by God to go and rebuild his church in ruins. He seems a great friend to the poor and will breathe new life into Rome.”