July 30, 2014

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Ohio Catholic leaders applaud new Pope Francis

YOUNGSTOWN — Catholic leaders in Ohio are praising the new pope from Argentina.

Former Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio was elected Wednesday and will be known as Francis, the first non-European pope since the Middle Ages.

Bishop George Murry of Youngstown tells The Vindicator he’s pleased by the selection of a fellow Jesuit who’s not from Europe.

In Cleveland, The Plain Dealer reports Bishop Richard Lennon said he prays the pope will be “a champion of the poor” and “a force for peace.”

Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis Schnurr says the choice of the archbishop from Buenos Aires is a nod to Spanish-speaking Catholics in Latin America and elsewhere.

Bishops Frederick Campbell in Columbus and Jeffrey Monforton in Steubenville called it “joyful news.” Toledo Bishop Leonard Blair urged prayers for the Catholic Church’s new leader.