Pupils to see new pope on visit to Rome
PUPILS from St Peter's RC High School will be hearing the first Easter blessing of new Pope Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina on a trip to Rome later this month.
Teachers and pupils from the Stroud Road school eagerly awaited the news as it broke on Wednesday night.
Nick Johns, vice principle, was surprised at the quick decision.
"There was a suggestion there would be an Italian voted in, and the fourth favourite would have been most likely, so it was a surprise," he said.
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"He has taken the name of Pope Francis, suggesting he is all too aware of the plight of the poor. It would seem he has caught the theme of the moment.
"He is a chemist, an educated man and speaks several languages so he is a man for all people.
"I have been to Buenos Aires and the contrast between the poor and the well-off is stark. It will be a popular choice there."
It is the first time a pope has been elected from Latin America, where 42 per cent of the population are Catholic. The news was revealed to a crowd of thousands in St Peter's Square in Vatican City.