Thursday, March 14, 2013

Surprise, excitement mark local reaction to pope's selection

Ivan Czwan earned his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Illinois Springfield in 2005 before returning to Buenos Aires. Reached there Wednesday, Czwan, an accountant for Accenture, said the Argentinian people were shocked and happy at the same time.

“We can’t believe that the new pope is from our country,” said Czwan. “People really like (him). He is a very humble and low-profile person who does a lot of things for the poor people."

Vatican watcher David Bertaina, assistant professor in the history department at UIS, thinks Pope Francis will be orthodox in theology, but will promote social justice. He also thinks he will be a unifier in the world church.

“Clearly, he has his mind on evangelizing. How he is going to do the new evangelization, I don’t know,” said Bertaina. “But his election is a recognition that the future of the church is a global one and a recognition that the church must be engaged in cultures of the wider world.”

Czwan and Bertaina's reaction was featured by The State Journal-Register on March 14, 2013.

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