Archbishop Chaput: Pope Francis A 'Wonderful Choice' - FOX 35 News Orlando

Archbishop Chaput: Pope Francis A 'Wonderful Choice'

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PHILADELPHIA -

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput described Pope Francis as a priest of "extraordinary intellectual and cultural strengths" in a statement issued not long after the conclave elected the new pope Wednesday.

In the statement, Chaput said "He (Pope Francis ) is a wonderful choice, a pastor God sends not just to the church but to every person of good will who honestly yearns for justice, peace and human dignity in our time."

Chaput recalled his first meeting with the new pope in 1997 in Rome's Synod for America. Chaput says he still has a gift from him that sits on his desk.

In the statement, Chaput called Pope Francis a man "deeply engaged in the issues of contemporary life and able to speak to the modern heart."

Chaput believes Pope Francis is open to the "new realities" the church faces.

The new pope was elected during the second day of the conclave, which began Tuesday. White smoke could be seen billowing from the chimney shortly after 2 p.m. The sight of the white smoke sent a massive crowd at St. Peter's Square into loud cheers.

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