Alaska Bishops say new pope is a ‘fresh beginning’

(Photo above) The three Bishops of Alaska pictured while gathered in Anchorage for a recent Alaska Priests’ Convocation. From left to right: Bishop Donald Kettler, Fairbanks; Archbishop Roger Schwietz, Anchorage; Bishop Edward Burns, Juneau. Photo by Ron Nicholl, Anchorage.

(Photo above) The three Bishops of Alaska pictured while gathered in Anchorage for a recent Alaska Priests’ Convocation. From left to right: Bishop Donald Kettler, Fairbanks; Archbishop Roger Schwietz, Anchorage; Bishop Edward Burns, Juneau. Photo by Ron Nicholl, Anchorage.

Alaska Catholic bishops say the election of a pope from Latin America provides a fresh beginning for the Catholic Church.

As Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected yesterday (Wednesday), Alaska’s bishops were in Juneau for the annual meeting of the Alaska Conference of Catholic Bishops. They also planned meetings with members of the Parnell administration and legislators.

The mid-morning announcement of a new pope was greeted with the ringing of bells at Juneau’s downtown Cathedral of the Nativity. At noon, Archbishop Roger Schweitz of Anchorage, Bishop Donald Kettler of Fairbanks and Bishop Edward Burns of Juneau held a thanksgiving Mass for the election of Pope Francis.