The Viatorian Community watched with anticipation as another member of a religious community — Pope Francis — was elected as successor of Peter and leader of the worldwide Catholic Church.
He is the first Jesuit chosen and first pope from South America, which includes Colombia, where the Viatorians have experienced the biggest growth in vocations.
Br. Carlos Ernesto Florez, CSV, a native Colombian now serving with the superior general in Rome, expressed excitement at the news of a Latino Pope.
“The College of Cardinals and the entire church looked to the south — far, far away from the windows of the Vatican — and discoverd a man who is open to helping and understanding, and to bringing the word of God to those most in need,” Br. Carlos said. “This gives us — and the whole church — an opportunity to discover Christ in those in need and to reshape the church to be responsive more directly to the people we are called to serve.”
Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, former Viatorian superior general, who commentated for CNN after Pope Benedict XVI was elected, says Pope Francis brings a renewed simplicity to the role and a commitment to serving the poor.
“He is very strong on social justice, which is an important dimension of the gospel,” Fr. Francis said.
The Viatorians, as a pontifical community, offer Pope Francis their sincerest congratulations and best wishes.