Msgr. Jerald A. Doyle, Bridgeport Diocesan Administrator, has issued a statement on the selection of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis:
"On behalf of the faithful of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Msgr. Jerald A. Doyle has expressed joy that a new Pope has been elected, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio who has taken the name Francis.
Today, the Catholics of Fairfield County join with the 1.2 billion Catholics in celebrating the announcement and asking the Lord’s blessing on him.
This is an historic and exciting moment in that Francis is the first Pope from the Americas. We look forward to his leadership as he represents the faith and aspirations of people across the globe.
It is reported that he is a man of deep humility, commitment to the poor, and passion for evangelization. He is also known to his brother Bishops for his extraordinary intellectual and cultural strengths in the Jesuit tradition, and as a man who will not only provide great personal witness but also be avoice for justice, peace and human dignity.
We pray for his well- being and for the blessings of the Holy Spirit on his leadership as the Church faces the many challenges and opportunities ahead."
Brian Wallace, a spokesman for the diocese, added, "We're all surprised. His name was not on the short list."
But Wallace said he was pleased with the choice. "This is a guy that's been out with the the people. I think that's very encouraging."
Pope Francis is also the first pontiff from the Americas, Wallace said.
In addition to 82 parishes, the diocese sponsors 30 regional elementary schools and 5 diocesan high schools. These schools, along with three high schools directed by religious communities, educate nearly 10,000 youth, according to the diocesan Website.