Local Reaction To Announcement Of New Pope - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Walnut Ridge, AR -- Lauren Payne Reports

Local Reaction To Announcement Of New Pope

April 20, 2005 -- Posted at 9:30 p.m.CDT

Walnut Ridge, AR -- "It will be interesting to see the influence he will have on the church during his papacy," said Father John Marconi, of Paragould.

Pope Benedict XVI led the cardinals who elected him in prayer and thanksgiving for the first time on Wednesday.

"He is the leader, and he is the Peter for us today. We'll wait and see how the Lord will use Pope Benedict to lead and to guide us," said Marconi.

Many agree Pope Benedict, and the late John Paul II, share many common traits.

"They are very intelligent men, he also has a very intense prayer life like John Paul II. He also speaks a lot of languages," said Marconi.

Pope Benedict is described as a very humble, and compassionate man.

He is also noted to uphold very conservative beliefs.

"I don't think he is going to shut people off because I think he really wants to bring people to the faith, and to the truth," said Marconi.

Marconi says John Paul II had a great love for the world's youth, and he hopes Pope Benedict connects with them just the same.

"I think he's going to be very open to the youth, and I think the youth will be very accepting to him just as John Paul was--at least I hope so, and pray so," said Marconi.

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