The bells at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Providence were ringing Wednesday afternoon signaling a historic moment for the Catholic Church. A new Pope has been chosen.
Providence's Bishop Thomas Tobin gathered with his colleagues at the dioceses to watch the TV screen for the next Pope to appear. When the red curtains opened it was Jorge Bergolio of Argentina who appeared.
"A very emotional moment...for all of us," said Bishop Tobin. "It's exciting, and it's also profoundly spiritual moment for all of us."
Father Jeremy Rodrigues shared the special moment with Bishop Tobin. He says local Catholics here in Rhode Island have a lot to look forward to including getting to know their new Pope who took the name Francis.
"I did as many people did. As soon as his name was announced I was on Google. Because he wasn't really among the front runners," said Fr. Rodrigues.
Pope Francis was selected by the conclave on just the 5th vote. He becomes the first Pontiff from the new world.
"The fact that the election happened so quickly...this is someone who is well known to the Cardinals, and obviously well respected. The cardinals must have felt very strongly this is the right man for this tremendous office at this point in history.
As for whether there was any disappointment that Boston's Cardinal, Sean O'Malley, who had been pointed to in recent days as the next potential Pope, wasn't chosen? Bishop Tobin says simply, no. Tobin says today was all good news for Catholics world wide.