There was not a "dry eye in the house" at the Sistine Chapel the moment when former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as the next pope, with the 115 cardinals meeting for the conclave then bursting into applause, according to Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.
"[It is] a remarkably emotional experience, even though we weren't surprised, because we could see it coming as the votes was tallied, and we see the direction that the Holy Spirit was leading us," Dolan told "Good Morning America" today. "But, still, the moment he got to the number needed, 77, was wonderfully inspirational. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house."
Bergoglio, 76, the cardinal from Buenos Aires, Argentina, from now on to be known as Pope Francis, is the first pope ever from the Americas and the first Jesuit pope.
Dolan described how the nature and identify of Jorge Bergoglio was changed and formed into Pope Francis Wednesday.
"He was a man who just a couple of hours before we were pouring coffee with and walking through the halls of St. Martha and chatting with," he said. "Now, all of a sudden, he's our holy father, and we're pledging him our love, and our allegiance, and our loyalty and our prayer."
Pope Francis was described as "serene" at the time of his election.
"As it became clear to all of us that he was probably going to be the man, we watched him closely, and he was remarkably at peace," Dolan said. "He did not seem to be rattled, and did not seem to agonize over things. He was just a man of resignation."
Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington told "Good Morning America" today that although Pope Francis now has an enormous responsibility, he expects to see a great simplicity of style in the new pontiff.
"I think we got a little taste of that when he stepped out onto the [balcony]," Wuerl said. "While vested in white, he didn't seem to lose that characteristic simplicity, charm, quietness. I don't think we're going to see a lot of personality change in him."
Wuerl said that when Pope Francis stepped in from the balcony after greeting the public, he walked into the dining room where the cardinals were to have supper, entering the room the same way he had every other time in this conclave, by greeting his brothers and simply taking his seat.
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