Goa churches hold special prayers after election of new Pope

PTI Panaji | Updated on March 14, 2013

Special prayers were held during regular mass in Goa churches today after Pope Francis was elected to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.

Goa, where 27 per cent of the population follows the Catholic faith, has held prayers for the new Pope right from the day when Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation from the papacy.

“It is a pleasant surprise for us. We were always sure that the Church which belongs to Jesus is guided by him,” Fr Francisco Caldeira, spokesman of the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, told presspersons today.

“For us nationalities are not important. What is important is commitment to Jesus,” he said.

The parishioners were also seen discussing the humble nature of the newly inducted Pope, which according to some reports includes his regular bus drive to the simple downtown apartment he chose over an opulent Church estate.

“From biographical data available about the new Pope, it is our firm conviction that he will guide the Church in this turbulent time. He is simple. He is humble. He is connected with the people which are the qualities which Jesus had and was witness to,” Fr Caldeira said.

Fr Savio Barretto, rector of Bom Jesus Basilica, where the relics of St Francis Xavier are preserved, termed the news as “thrilling.”

“We are thrilled that we have a Pope who is not European. He is a Jesuit. I am proud to have a Pope who is of our order,” he said.

Published on March 14, 2013

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