March 20, 2013. (Romereports.com)
The election of Pope Francis was definitely a surprise. But in Latin America, where almost half of the world's Catholics live, it's a decision that's been long overdue. Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani
is the Archbishop of Lima, Peru. He says that through the election of this Pope, the Latin American Church can contribute even more to the Universal Church. CARD. JUAN LUIS CIPRIANI
Archbishop of Lima (Peru)“Along with the joy that comes naturally to Latin American people, I think they also bring that openness of celebrating religion. The love for Our Lady, for saints, praying in family, the Christian Cross. These are all things that are very dear to our hearts. We received all these gifts through the first evangelization. Maybe now is the time, to re-evangelize and bring those gifts back to Europe.”
Cardinal Cipriani knows Pope Francis
quite well. Over the years they met in different meetings for Latin American bishops. The cardinal thinks that the Pope's personality will surprise the world. CARD. JUAN LUIS CIPRIANI
Archbishop of Lima (Peru)“The Pope will show a softer side of faith. The message will be deep, but also tender. He's a man who is very close to the sick, poor, the abandoned. He's always been close to these people and has always asked that wealthy people be more generous with those in need.”
In fact the Cardinal isn't very surprised at how in just a few days, the Pope has already broken protocol by directly approaching crowds of people.
The challenges Pope Francis will face, were discussed by all cardinals during their pre-conclave meetings. His pastoral work is obvious, but those who know him well say he's also good at management and decision making.
CARD. JUAN LUIS CIPRIANI
Archbishop of Lima (Peru) “He has a great personality, but he's also a man who knows how to make decisions. He knows what he's doing. It's a type of contrast. One one hand he's a soft man of prayer, on the other he's a man who takes action. This will surely motivate us.”
In just a few days, the Pope has set a new rhythm that's quite apparent to the outside world. This alone is motivating Latin American bishops, so they too can help the Pope in keeping that enthusiasm strong and turning it into a stronger Church.