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Hispanic population reacts to first Argentinian pope
Pope Francis is the first pope from Latin America. In fact, he's the first person selected outside of Europe.
News 5's Katie Gauthier spoke to local Hispanic Catholics Thursday.
Not everyone knew his name or his background. But the local Hispanic community says it feels like one of their own was chosen.
Pope Francis I. The first pope to choose the name Francis, the first from Latin America, and the first person selected outside of Europe.
"I think it's a big reaction that he's the first person from America to be elected," said Janeth Blanco, Multicultural Coalition of Grand Island.
Many local members of the church say that the new pope has brought the community together.
"It's like winning a gold medal or something exciting that happens to you. Even though I don't know him personally but it's like he represents everybody that is Hispanic," said Raquel Maar.
"It's great it has been great. The rest of the people I talked to said they are really really happy too. All the Catholic and the Hispanic people, too," Yrene Moreno.
Hispanic Catholics make up nearly half of the church's membership worldwide.
"I believe that everything that he do is something that will be something right to the right way and that is very very important for the Catholic church right now," Moreno said.
Will the Pope's identity as Latin American help with controversial social issues that the world faces at this time?
"Hopefully we'll see more changes on positive things and abortion would be one issue that needs to be addressed," said Maar.
The Multicultural Coalition says the Hispanic community across the area has been responding pos to the news.
"I think it will be a really good help because now they can start seeing how not only European people can can make it to be something, somebody known worldwide but also a Latin person can do it," Blanco said.
Some would say Hispanics are underrepresented across the country so will the new role help shine a light on the minority?
"It was exciting to hear that it was a hispanic, Latin American person that was elected. That's an exciting thing for most of the Hispanic people," said Maar.
Many are hoping that this one voice will be the voice of many.
"I just believe that he would be the voice for those that are not able to speak out," Maar said.
The inaguaral mass for the 76 year old Pope Francis the first will be held Tuesday, March 19th, at the Vatican.
Forty percent of the world's Catholics are in North or South America.
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