«Together with the whole Church, I am truly happy for this moment, which shows the Church’s vitality and the freshness of the Holy Spirit who always finds a way to amaze us.
Besides the surprise, because he certainly was not among the cardinals most mentioned, there is the joy of thinking that this is also a sign of novelty for the Church today, which is living a special moment. This novelty began with Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation from the ministry as Bishop of Rome and was followed by this new Pope who raised an extraordinary echo all over the world.
The choice of the name Francis is very significant, because it seems to express the desire for a return to the radical nature of the Gospel, to a simple life and to a great attention to humanity and to all religions too.
It also seems particularly noteworthy to me that a Jesuit chooses the name of Francis: I think it means openness to charisms, to all charisms, to acknowledge and value what is good in each of them.
I was also particularly impressed by his simple, informal style when he first appeared on the central balcony: he seemed to know how to touch the hearts of all the men, women and children present in St. Peter’s square. I believe that at this moment in time when there is much suffering in humanity, we need someone capable of touching hearts and letting everyone feel the joy of having a father and a brother who loves us.»
Maria Voce, president of the Focolare Movement.