WASHINGTON — With the election of Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the first Latin-American Vicar of Christ in the history of the Catholic Church, the College of Cardinals confirmed an inescapable truth: The pilgrim Church has traveled far beyond its base in the Eternal City.
Pope Francis himself alluded to this significant reality in his first public words as Pope, spoken March 13 from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.
“Dear brothers and sisters, good evening,” Francis began. “You know that the duty of the conclave was to give Rome a bishop. It seems that my brother cardinals picked him from almost the ends of the earth. But here we are!”
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