New Orleans Catholics celebrate, pray for Pope Francis - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

New Orleans Catholics celebrate, pray for Pope Francis

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New Orleans, La. - Archbishop Gregory Aymond brought Catholics in New Orleans together Wednesday to pray and to celebrate the announcement of Pope Francis.

"We know that as Pope Francis begins his ministry today that St. Peter's words will be in his heart and Jesus' words will be with him as he says, 'Francis, upon this rock, you will continue to build my church,'" says Archbishop Aymond.

The archbishop calls Pope Francis a man of the people with a special commitment to the poor. "I suspect that Pope Francis sees himself as one who can rebuild the church, for this is the time for renewal," says Archbishop Aymond.

Amid cheers, in his first public remarks as pontiff, Pope Francis asked for prayers for himself.

Doing exactly that at the St. Louis Cathedral, Catholics committed their loyalty to a pope who's expected to bring transparency and rejuvenation to the church at a time when it's needed most.

"It's probably a good idea to have somebody other than from the inner circle of Rome. It will be more beneficial for the whole world that way," says Joe Stephan.

Catholics in New Orleans say they have faith in their new leader, but also hope change will come.

"Maybe we'll see some changes to the church's philosophy about priests being able to marry. That's some of the issues that Pope Benedict wasn't able to resolve in his mind and his prayers," says Mike Gibbons.

Some just want Pope Francis to restore strength in the Catholic faith.

Archbishop Aymond called the selection "A great day for the church."

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