Pope Francis Selection Surprises Baltimore Archbishop
Archbishop William Lori said Pope Francis is known for his outreach to the sick and the poor.
Archbishop William Lori said like many people, he was watching television and waiting for white smoke to emerge from a chimney, indicating a new pope had been chosen.
But Lori, who is the head of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, said he was surprised when it was announced that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio—to be called Pope Francis—will lead the Roman Catholic Church.
"I was surprised to tell you the truth. Only because, in all of the speculation that naturally proceeds the election of a pope, his name, while mentioned the last time in 2005, was not mentioned as prominently this time." Lori said. "But I think the more we see, the more we're going to like."
Lori, during a news conference at Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, said that he has only met the new pope in passing, but that he understands the election of the first Latin American to the position will be a great point of pride for Hispanic Catholics.
"I can only imagine the hope and joy that is welling up in the hearts of Hispanic Catholics here in the Archdiocese and all over this continent," Lori said.
Although Lori has little acquaintance with the new pope, he said that he has heard that he is a man of prayer who puts holiness ahead of everything.
"There's many, many stories of his direct outreach to the poor, for example, going into visit patients with HIV/AIDS and personally washing them, and being so very present to them, and being present to the poor and speaking about that," Lori said.