Parish priest gives pope the thumbs up

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As the Catholic world celebrates the election of a new pope an Erewash priest has shared his thoughts on the new pontiff with the ‘Tiser.

Father Martin Sylvester, of Long Eaton’s St Francis Catholic Church, was waiting for Mass to begin when the news came in.

Seventy-six-year-old Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, of Buenos Aires, was selected on Wednesday last week.

Father Martin said: “As we waited for Holy Mass to begin at 7.30pm a third of the congregation and some of the priests had their phones in front of them following the news.

“When we got the new pope’s name at 7.16pm we were able to turn our minds to the celebration.”

Father Martin had been attending the special Mass in his capacity as Dean of Nottingham West Deanery.

He added: “His (Pope Francis’) humility and his decades 
of pastoral experience are going to be an enormous blessing for us.

“He seems to have a clear but balanced vision.”

Pope Francis will be the first Latin-American pope and is taking the name Francis.

Father Martin added: “I’m chuffed by his election. It 
fills me with confidence.”

“I had a pound on the new pope being from South or 
Central America. I’m now over three pounds richer than I 
was this time last week,” he said.