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Regis President Expects New Pope To Reform How Vatican Operates

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Rev. John Fitzgibbons talks with CBS4's Dominic Garcia (credit: CBS)

Rev. John Fitzgibbons talks with CBS4′s Dominic Garcia (credit: CBS)

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DENVER (CBS4) – The president of Denver’s Regis University said he got choked up on Tuesday when he saw who had been chosen to be the new pope.

“I got teary eyed, I honestly was choked up,” said Rev. John Fitzgibbons when he saw that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was named the 266th pope. Bergoglio will be known as Pope Francis.

Regis is a Jesuit school and Pope Francis is the first Jesuit pope. Jesuits are an order of the Roman Catholic Church known for their schools and mission work.

People can expect Francis to be conservative as Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul the 2nd before him were. But, they can also expect him to put a huge emphasis on the poor, and this South American may shake up a vatican that is overwhelmingly European.

Fitzgibbons says Francis is seen as a champion of the poor.

“When he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, remarkably, he lived in an apartment and cooked his own meals rather than live in the bishop’s mansion,” Fitzgibbons said.

Fitzgibbons says followers shouldn’t expect any big change when it comes to controversial issues like priests and marriage or the church’s stance on homosexuality. But Fitzgibbons thinks there may be some other changes.

“He will bring a very fresh perspective and some insight into what he thinks reform means, specifically reform in the way the Vatican operates and addresses issues that have plagued it.

“The victims of clerical sexual abuse really need to be heard and the church needs to make a statement,” Fitzgibbons said. “An official statement to those who have been marginalized or really damaged.”

Father fitzgibbon also says the new pope needs to have an open ear to the needs and concerns of women.

Pope Francis will have his hands full as the head of 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, but this first Jesuit pope, has already made a huge first impression.

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