Scholars say new pope could bring change to Catholic faith
New pope, new perspective. Capital Region scholars say the first non-European church leader in modern history could bring change to the Catholic faith. But experts say, just don't expect anything too radical. Our Erin Vannella reports.
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ALBANY, N.Y. – “He's a Jesuit, a scholar, he's also a man of simplicity and great humility. They tell me that he uses public transportation to get around down in Argentina and I think it's a sign of his commitment to be one with the people,” said Bishop Howard Hubbard.
Local religious leaders and theologians say the newly elected Argentinean pope is just what the Catholic Church needs
Dr Jeffrey Marlett said, “He's from Latin America, where half the world's Catholics live and he's used to working with the poor. He's got connections, not just a mindset, but he knows people.”
“Brazil, being the largest Catholic country in the world, Mexico being the second largest Catholic country in the world, that really brings a different perspective,” Dr. Peter Ellard said.
Despite being in line with previous papacies on Catholic social teaching when it comes to the economy, Catholic social justice or sexuality, scholars say Pope Francis may have the ability to reach out to new groups
Marlett said, “He knows what works and what doesn't in terms of like reaching out to the young. Even though he's old his ideas might not be.”
Whatever his intentions, the new pope has a divided audience, those who worry his conservative reputation may only strengthen the Vatican and those who find reassurance in his bolstering Catholic traditions.
“I'm excited and I hope that all of us in the church will keep him very much in prayer because it's a monumental task that he undertakes, but with god's grace and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, I'm sure he'll do a wonderful job,” Bishop Hubbard said.