Seeing the new Pope choose the name "Francis" is a joy, says The Rev. Paul Varga, associate pastor at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Point Pleasant Beach.
"Seeing him choose the name 'Francis' gives me great joy because I'm Franciscan," Varga said on Wednesday afternoon shortly after it was announced that The Rev. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, an Argentine cardinal, was elected as the next Pope and will take the name "Francis."
The new Pope's father was an Italian immigrant, hence the Italian last name, Varga said.
Pope Francis "is known as a simple man dedicated to the poor and the suffering," said Varga. "He retired as a bishop due to his age, but that doesn't seem to be a problem for him being elected to the Papacy."
"What does the future hold for him? Only the good Lord knows," Varga said, laughing a bit.
"He said there won't be business as usual," said Varga, who had been watching television reports about the election of the new pontiff. "What he meant by that is anyone's guess.
"I'm happy they made the choice," Varga said. "They prayed about it a lot, I'm sure, and I'm sure they were guided by the Holy Spirit. I'm happy we have a leader and I pray that the Lord will guide him and give him wisdom."
To see the prepared statement from the Diocese of Trenton, please see attached PDF.
For a story with a poll, asking for your opinion about the church leader elected as the new Pope, and a hyperlink to a complete story, click here. To see a wire story about his background, click here.