Ugandans Celebrate Pope Francis Election
Fr. Gerald Kalumba, the Parish Priest at Christ the King Catholic Church, said that apart from the choice of Pope being a departure from tradition, he brings in new experience and spiritual outlook.
the election of the new leader of the Catholic Church has been welcomed with excitement in Kampala, with the clergy and ordinary Catholics saying he is a befitting leader.
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, now Pope Francis, was on Wednesday night elected the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.
The 76 year old Pope is the first from South America and first outside Europe in 1300 years. He is also the first Pope from the Society of Jesus or Jesuit order.
Catholics have been waiting to receive a new pope since Pope Benedict XVI stepped down on February 28 citing ill-health and diminished energy. Speaking to Uganda Radio Network on Thursday, Fr. Gerald Kalumba, the Parish Priest at Christ the King Church, said that apart from the choice of Pope being a departure from tradition, he brings in new experience and spiritual outlook.
After taking the name Francis, Catholics at Christ the King Church expect the Pope to emulate Saint Francis of Assisi, who founded the Franciscan order which was authorized by Pope Innocent III in 1210. Francis was a reformer and the same will be expected of the new pontiff, who takes over at a time the church is divided and tinted by allegations of corruption and sex abuse by some of its priests. Saint Francis is also known to have been charitable and could calm wild animals, as well as bring peace to the suffering.
He is known as the Patron saint of the environment and animals. we caught up with Joseph Okwir, a lay Catholic who follows the Franciscan way of life.
There are those who are hopeful that among the gifts Pope Francis will be giving Uganda is a Cardinal.
The Catholic Church in Uganda has been without an administrative Cardinal, after Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala retired in 2006.
Though he did not participate in the conclave due to his non-voting age, Emeritus Cardinal Wamala still gives direction to the Catholic Church in Uganda.