Locals excited about new Pope - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Locals excited about new Pope

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Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz
Bellarmine University gathered around a television to watch the announcement of a new pope. Bellarmine University gathered around a television to watch the announcement of a new pope.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The announcement of the new Pope was closely watched around the world and within the Archdiocese of Louisville.

"I was surprised as anybody else to see the white smoke come so quickly," said Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz.

He eagerly awaited the announcement, but wasn't shocked by the decision.

"Whenever someone speaks about (Pope Francis), they speak of him as being a spiritual man and a simple man," Kurtz said.

Archbishop Kurtz said already there's a close-knit feeling throughout the Catholic Church.

"The biggest message is unity," Kurtz said. "I've never met our Holy Father. I look forward to my first meeting with him, but I do know him as a man of integrity and that is universal. He has been well-known as someone who is deeply spiritual and selfless."

Around the world, people were glued to TVs, websites, and social media to hear the big announcement, including like students and staff at Bellarmine University.

"We got the text alerts that the white smoke had gone up and were very excited," said Karen Shadle, Assistant Director of Campus Ministry at Bellarmine. "I turned on the live news feed and just started collecting people from the halls."

For Bellarmine University junior Aaron Kuzel, the election of an Argentine as pope was especially personal.

"I'm of Cuban heritage, so there are Latin Americans and Hispanics in my family," Kuzel said.

It's the allure of the new leader coming from a different region of the world that excites him more.

"Just getting outside the world and exploring different possibilities of different people and having those different cultures and being diversified," Kuzel said.

A special Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated Thursday at noon at the Cathedral of the Assumption to celebrate the new Pope and learn more about him.

 Copyright 2013 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

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