LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) — Pope Francis' rise to prominence was a welcome announcement to Catholics in the Las Vegas Valley.
Many News 3 talked with were eagerly waiting to see who would be elected and from where. They were pleasantly surprised he was from South America.
Some want tradition and others want change. Now both will see what direction Pope Francis will take the church.
While the smoke billowed, the bells tolled at Guardian Angel Cathedral along the Strip. Parishioners liked the election of Pope Francis of Argentina.
“He seems very humble and I really do pray that he's going to be the leader for our times,” said parishioner Norbert Archibeq.
A lot of local Catholics like Archibeq have been following coverage of the conclave.
“I think it's a beautiful name. Myself, I am an ordained deacon with the Catholic church,” Archibeq said.
There's a strong sense of pride among Latino Catholics here in the Las Vegas Valley being that Pope Francis is from Argentina and what he can do with the political climate and bringing more Latinos back to the Catholic Church.
“A lot of the immigrants now, they come in here and they're really making up a large number of our parishes and I think it's a great a leader to identify with and to look for spiritual guidance,” Archibeq said.
Latinos have been leaving the Catholic Church, and Armando Gonzalez believes that perhaps this pope could be influential in bringing resurgence to the church.
“I think that's why, that we got a Latin pope because now in these times a lot of people losing their faith, you know the Latin people and maybe that's going to help. It’s going to help for us,” Gonzalez said.
While there is rejoicing in Pope Francis’ new leadership, there is also expectation.
“A lot of people have been talking about abuse of the children. I would like it to be more active on that point kind of like instead of hiding, investigating it as soon as they know something is going on,” said parishioner Addie Ang.
“I really think they should open up the priesthood to women. Let them have more of a voice in the church,” said parishioner Bob Munson.