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Local Catholics React To Selection Of New Pope

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MANKATO, MN -

Today's announcement gave everyone a chance to see a nearly two thousand year old process happen digitally in real time, with the ceremony broadcast throughout the world. Some of those watching were the students and teachers at Loyola Catholic High School News 12's Ryan Gustafson has the story. Once the white smoke drifted over St. Peter's Square, classes were alerted over the intercom, and all the TV's in class were tuned in to the coverage. The hour and a half wait between the announcement and when Pope Francis first appeared on the balcony was a little foreign to the American teenagers used to information at their fingertips, but brought excitement nonetheless. Erin Murray says, "He does stand for my religion. Does stand for other Catholics. So it's important to me even though he's not in America." And as has been a theme in discussions about Catholicism in America, curiosity over what the change will mean for the church's typically conservative take on social issues is building. Logan Goettl says, "The church can be more modernized, different steps can be taken in a different direction." Also watching today was Colombian exchange student Diego Florez, who saw the move as an appeal to a region which currently contains 40% of the world's Catholics. Florez says, "I think they made that decision because they want the American people to get more involved in the Catholic religion. So it's a good decision."