It's Almost Impossible To Quantify What Pope Francis Means To Latin America

argentina celebrate pope francisRoman Catholics celebrate the election of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as the new Pope at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires.

Photo: REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

On Thursday Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the first Pope Francis and the first Jesuit to become the spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Catholics around the world.Perhaps most importantly the 76-year-old was born in the Buenos Aires and spent most of his life in Argentina.

As two Argentinians told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in St. Patrick’s Square (embedded below), finding out was a jubilant surpise to the country’s 31 million Catholics.

And even though the choice of the former archbishop of Buenos Aires and conservative theologian to take over the troubled institution has some Papal pundits concerned, they recognise the profound impact of electing the first New World Pope.

Pew has this handy graphic to provide some perspective on how the choice reverberates throughout Latin America:

infographic pope francis

Photo: Pew Research centre’s Forum on Religion & Public Life

That resonates reaches America as well since a third of the all U.S. Catholics are Hispanic.

Here’s Cooper interview with two Argentinians in St. Peter’s Square:

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