MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) The Catholic Church has a new leader, Pope Francis. Cardinals elected 76-year-old Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina on the fifth ballot and on the second day of the conclave. News of the announcement spread at light speed throughout the world, including here in Mobile.
Parishioners attending afternoon mass received word of the news as mass ended. Local 15's Modupe Idowu was there to capture the moment as Archbishop of Mobile Thomas Rodi and Monsignor Stephen Martin waited for the announcement of the new Pope.
It was the moment all Catholics have been waiting for.
"Wow! The Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways, and this has been an exciting day for the Catholic Church and for the world," said Archbishop Rodi.
The bells of the church went silent the exact day Pope Benedict XVI officially stepped down, and Wednesday those bells rang again. It was a sound many longed to hear.
Archbishop Rodi stated, "When I heard the bells at our cathedral here in Mobile pealing, it just lifted my heart in joy. We have a pope."
Local 15 was there to witness the historic moment as Archbishop Thomas Rodi and Monsignor Stephen Martin waited anxiously for the big reveal of who will be the new Bishop of Rome.
Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was presented to the world a little after 2 p.m. central time.
He has created a trail of many firsts. He's the first Pope to use the name Francis. He is the first pope from the west, the first Latin American Pope and the first Jesuit Pope of the Catholic Church.
Archbishop Rodi stated it is just a reflection of the Catholic Church.
"No longer do we look just to Europe as leaders of the church, but we are Jesus told his followers to go out and teach all the nations and this reflects that," said Rodi.
He added, "Catholic churches will be having mass thanking God for the gift of the new Pope and praying that now the Holy Spirit is going to work powerfully in his life."
To see a full interview with the Archbishop of Mobile, click on the web extra attached to this story.