The election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to the papacy is being touted as a step forward for the Catholic faith by a local priest.
“I’m really pleased. Really excited,” said Father Rick Krofchek of St. Joseph’s Church. “It sounds like he’s a man of the people, and I’m really excited about that.”
Bergoglio, who took the name Pope Francis I, is said to have lived in a small apartment instead of a lavish residence, and to have routinely traveled by transit. He has also been a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage and abortion.
According to Krofchek, a man of the people is exactly what the church needs to lead it in modern times.
“I think, at this point, we need to become more people-centred and more Earth-centred, with some of the scandals we’ve been facing,” he said. “Part of the cause of (those scandals) is when you become removed from the people or become distant, you start to take liberties you shouldn’t take.
"The Church is kind of paying the price for the ways in which it misused it’s authority, in some ways, and I think that a pope who will be for the people will help to bridge the gap we’re working at bridging,” added Krofchek.
For more, pick up tomorrow's Times-Herald.