| New pope surprises Jesuits
WASHINGTON — The Jesuit brethren of the new Pope Francis were as surprised as anyone when Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was announced March 13 as the first Jesuit to be elected pope.
Jesuit Father Gerard Stockhausen, executive secretary of the Jesuit Conference USA, told Catholic News Service that when Cardinal Bergoglio's name was announced from the Vatican balcony, he didn't realize immediately that it was a fellow member of the Society of Jesus, the religious order founded by St. Ignatius Loyola in 1534.
Jesuits generally don't seek higher offices in the church, Father Stockhausen said. "There are relatively few who are bishops even. We don't ordinarily take on those posts."
Even the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, told reporters: "Personally, I'm a bit shocked to have a Jesuit pope."
In Dajabon, Dominican Republic, Jesuit Father Regino Martinez, called it "a moment of great hope and opportunity for the church."
He said Pope Francis as the first Latin American pope also offers "an opportunity to support the work being done in the Latin American church and a show of support for Latin Americans."
— Catholic News Service
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