BRISTOL, Va. - People are excited, and a lot are pleasantly surprised about how quickly the vote for the new Pope was decided.
"I almost cried, his humbleness, asked the people to bless him before he blessed them. That was beautiful," said Joyce Stenton, a member at St. Anne Catholic Church.
History was made Wednesday in Vatican City and the Catholic world now has a new leader, Pope Francis.
Bishop Richard Stika of Knoxville said, "This man is now the head of state, and head of an organization of 1,200,000,000."
"Here in Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee there aren't a lot of Catholics, so to be a part of something much bigger than just your region is fantastic thing. That's one of the reasons I became a Catholic," said St. Anne Catholic Church member Chris Duncan.
The decision was an historic one. He's the first Pope from outside Europe in more than a thousand years.
Dr. Rohr a philosophy professor at King University is pleased with the decision, "I'm glad it is not someone from the western world because most Christians now in the Roman Church as well as Protestant are from Latin American, Africa and Asia. We need fresh leadership."
It only took two days of conclave to decide the Catholic world's next leader; a sign there's confidence in what he has to offer.
"He seems open to people of other faiths and from the Christian family so hopefully this will be a good sign for all of us," said Dr. Rohr.
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