Tulsans celebrate election of Pope Francis

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Updated: 3/14/2013 9:14 am Published: 3/13/2013 9:25 pm

When Pope Francis was elected Wednesday afternoon, Bishop Edward Slattery told all churches in the Diocese of Tulsa to ring their church bells, but Catholic Churches were not the only ones that had happy clergy inside their walls.

“I am so excited to celebrate the election we heard about today with Pope Francis,” Pastor Jim Miller said.

Miller has been leading the 2,500 members of First Presbyterian Church in downtown Tulsa for twenty years. When he talked with FOX23’s Adam Paluka Wednesday afternoon, he made it clear the outcome of the Conclave of Cardinals was much more than just a historic moment for Catholics.

“I think everybody around the world has probably been attentive to this. It's hard to overstate the importance of the Roman Catholic community in the global community.”

Miller thinks people of all faiths should pause and think about what this election means. He's good friends with Bishop Slattery, and his sentiments don't surprise the head of the Diocese of Tulsa.

“I think that the whole world wants the Pope, even if they're not Catholic, they're happy that we have a Pope,” Bishop Slattery said.

Pastor Miller was impressed with the new Pope's humility and his early command of his position.

“You don't have to be Roman Catholic to be thankful to God for good leadership, and be grateful for the election of Pope Francis,” Pastor Miller said.

Pastor Miller will Mark the Pope's election at Sunday services by leading his church in a prayer for the new head of the Catholic Church.

For Catholics, the new Pope will hold his first Papal Mass next week. In the meantime you can catch up with Pope Francis on social media. The new Pontiff has a YouTube channel and a Twitter account. That account was created by Pope Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, but had been deactivated since he announced his resignation last month.

Pope Francis’ election did spark a new tweet on the Pope’s account. The three words tweeted Wednesday afternoon were in Latin, Habemus Papam Franciscum. The translation is: We have Pope Francis.

Tulsa Bishop Slattery says those words reached a population not connected through the television or radio, and it brought the Pontiff literally to the palm of their hands.

“Our whole mission in the world is to communicate, to communicate Christ. The more sophisticated our communication systems are, the better we can do this. So we have to be conversant with all the modern media,” Bishop Slattery told FOX23.

To view the Pope’s Twitter account, click here: https://twitter.com/Pontifex

To view the Vatican’s YouTube channel, click here: http://www.youtube.com/user/vatican

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