Reporting Maggie Newland
MIAMI (CBS4) – As South Florida Christians celebrated Easter Sunday, many Catholics paid special attention to the new Pope’s Easter message.
Pope Francis celebrated his first Easter mass as leader of the Roman Catholic church since his March 13th election.
At Epiphany Parish in South Miami Dade, Monsignor Jude O’Doherty talked about the importance of the new pope for the Catholic Church.
“Each pope is selected by the Holy Spirit to continue the work of the resurrection in his own time and Pope Francis is now the chosen one to lead us forward for the next several years,” said Msgr. O’Doherty who added the new pope will, “probably be very different from others. He will be his own Vicar of Christ here. He will be our leader and he’s been accepted widely throughout the whole world.”
Msgr. O’Doherty also talked about the anticipation that comes with a new leader.
“There’s always excitement in that you’re always thinking, ‘Who is it going to be? Where’s he going to be from? Is he going to be a traditionalist? Is he going to be conservative, is he going to be liberal? What is his goal going to be?’ This man made it clear from the beginning he says ‘My name is Francis’ meaning I’m going to be taking care of the people on the fringes. I’ll be reaching out to them. I’ll be reaching out to everyone but they will not be forgotten,” said Msgr. O’Doherty.
In his Easter message at the Vatican, Pope Francis asked for peace throughout the world, specifically for reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians, war-torn African countries, and the Korean peninsula.
He also denounced human trafficking calling it the most extensive form of slavery in the 21st century and violence linked to drug trafficking.
A crowd of 250,000 heard the pope’s message in St. Peter’s Square.