Lubbock Diocese welcomes new pontiff with open arms

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock's Bishop, Placido Rodriguez gathered with Diocesan staff members Wednesday afternoon, eagerly awaiting the announcement of the new Pope. Rodriguez said he had no expectations, but trusted the College of Cardinals to make the historic decision with help from the Holy Spirit.

"It has taken us all by surprise, because we do now have a Pope," Rodriguez said.

As the name Jorge Mario Bergolgio was read from the Vatican balcony, the individuals gathered at the Diocese responded with cheering and applause, just as thousands were doing at that same moment in St. Peter's Square and around the world.

"We enter into a new era with new hope, new resolution and a greater sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit," Rodriguez said.

Although surprised by the selection, Bishop Rodriguez couldn't be more pleased with the decision and his name choice.

"What a better name than St. Francis, who has so much compassion for our brothers and sisters," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez believes Pope Francis is exactly what the church needs right now.

"I'm very sure the Cardinals were very aware that he's a man that can confront the issues and be able to deal with them," Rodriguez said.

However, probably the biggest surprise in the room was where the man came from.

"Now, Latin America has contributed to the new Holy Father," Rodriguez said.

Overall, there are now proud and satisfied Catholics here in Lubbock and around the world that are excited to begin the new era of Pope Francis.

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