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Bishope Emeritus Hopes Pope Francis Will 'Challenge Our Horizons'

Bishop Emeritus Matthew Clark
Helene Biandudi/WXXI
Bishop Emeritus Matthew Clark

Speaking in Rochester following the announcement of the election of the new Pope, Bishop Emeritus Matthew Clark spoke warmly of the selection saying that he hoped Pope Francis would:  

"...challenges our horizons and makes us think in new ways and calls us to different perspectives that we might be accustomed to in that Eurocentric kind of model. It’s sort of conjecture, but that would be my hope anyway."

Speaking in a press conference context, Bishop Emeritus Clark said that he was 'personally delighted' Pope Francis, from Buenos Aires in Argentina, was also the first member of the Jesuit order in the history of the church to be chosen to lead it.

"I have very strong and affectionate ties to the Jesuit community. I did [oh, I think it was] seven and half years of higher education with the Jesuits.

Jesuits in my priesthood and my episcopal ministry have been wonderful mentors to me, spiritual  directors, friends. So I’m quite delighted…"

"I’ve read that he [Pope Francis] leads (a) pretty simple life. He had vows of poverty as a Jesuit…but he chose to live simply and by that I mean he lived in a small apartment and I read that he prepared his own food and took public transport to his office and that sort of thing. I find that kind of attractive and arouses my curiosity about seeing how that will play out in his new ministry."

In a written statement, Bishop Robert J. Cunningham, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Rochester said:

"It is with joy, happiness and gratitude to our gracious God, that we welcome Cardinal Bergoglio, Pope Francis, as our Holy Father.

In his first papal appearance, he asked the people gathered in St. Peter’s Square and throughout the world to join him in prayer for the Bishop Emeritus of Rome, Benedict XVI.  Using the Our Father, and Hail Mary he united us in a gesture of filial devotion."


The full audio of Bishop Emeritus Matthew Clark's comments are above.