The reactions to the selection of Pope Francis have been loud and joyful throughout Buenos Aires this week. The following are the top 5 most common reactions seen firsthand in Buenos Aires:
5) Surprise: Although Jorge Mario Bergoglio is a popular figure within the clergy, the former Cardinal of Buenos Aires did not appear to be at the top of the list of probable candidates for pope. Being the first non-European pope has proven itself a pleasant shock to Argentina, despite the fact that the country has the 11th largest population of Catholics in the world.
4) Dissatisfaction: Although this is not a dominant reaction, choosing Bergoglio has led some to voice discontentment with his stances. Being a stanch anti-gay figure and leader of the Jesuits throughout Argentina’s Dirty War in the 1970s has left the new pope with some amount of public dissatisfaction among the cynics.
3) Anticipation: As news of Pope Francis broke out, porteños (Buenos Aires residents) flooded the interior and exterior of the Catedral Metropolitana in the heart of the city. Even though the announcement came on Wednesday afternoon, news cameras remain parked down the street awaiting their next story.
2) Invigoration: Although Argentina is largely a pious, Catholic nation, the selection of Pope Francis has renewed the religious energy in the city. Local churches are now replete with Vatican flags and the city is abuzz with discussions about the new pope.
1) Pride! How could the number 1 reaction be anything else, really? The fact that Bergoglio is the first Latin pope is news in itself, but the fact that he served in Buenos Aires is undoubtedly a huge source of pride for porteños. The unmistakable presence of joy as people cried, danced and prayed in the streets Wednesday is not likely to dissipate soon. As Argentina is elevated to the forefront of international attention, there has been much to celebrate this week in the capital city.
Photos courtesy of Geena de Rose/Gavel Media.