Reacting to the news that the Vatican has selected Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as the new Pope, Father Bernard Champagne is optimistic about what the selection could mean for the Catholic faith — in America and throughout the world.
Champagne, who delivers Sunday mass at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Latin as it was done prior to Vatican II, said, "He seems to be somewhat conservative and I'm hoping he’ll bring the church back to some type of sanity again."
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who has taken the name Pope Francis I, is from Argentina, which makes him the first non-European Pope and the first from the Americas. He is 76.
"That’s very interesting," Champagne said. "Because much of South America has turned Protestant. Hopefully this Pope will renew the faith in South America again."
"It will take a while," he added.
Elaborating on what he referred to as the need for sanity in the church, Champagne said he was referring to news of pedophilia and gays in the church that has plagued the Catholic religion in recent years.
"We need a Pope who is going to put his foot down,” Champagne said.
Traditional Latin Mass
Champagne said Our Lady of Sorrows keeps its doors open all day long, seven days a week. He encourages folks to stop by its Spring Street church, which was erected in the Victorian style, and is located among residences in Orange, Conn.
On Sundays, about 115 parishioners come to mass from as far as New York and Massachusetts. "They are looking to get back to the traditional church,” Champagne said.
“It's certainly interesting times.”