The archbishop of Oklahoma City says cardinals delivered a "wonderful surprise" by selecting as the new pope a cardinal from the New World.
The former Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio of Argentina is now Pope Francis. Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul S. Coakley said the church in Latin America is strong and committed to a "new evangelization" and that Francis will be an effective leader for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.
According to the Glenmary Research Center, there were 178,430 Catholics in Oklahoma in 2010, or about 5 percent of the state's population.
Coakley said interest in the papal election from all over the globe was a reminder that the Church is universal and that the pope is a sign of its unity.