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Local Students Hail Selection Of New Pope

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The new pope is 76-years-old.

But his age doesn’t mean young people can’t relate to him.

CBS2’s Bobby Kaple talked to high school students at Bishop Mora Salesian located downtown Los Angeles.

He says Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina — forever to be known as Pope Francis — was warmly greeted when he appeared on a live TV feed announcing the selection of the new pontiff.

“It was exciting, me being an avid Catholic, and experiencing this. It’s just out of this world,” said Nicholas Rosas, a sophomore.

That sentiment was echoed by many students.

“I was talking to my teacher and we were all guessing, ‘Who do you think it’s going to be?’ The Father was taking a guess, too,” said John Peralta, also a sophomore.

For student Craig Kinjo, he’s glad the waiting game is over. “It’s nice to know who is going to be leading us — and even he seemed surprised. I am looking forward to what the next few years will bring.”

“On February 11, when Pope Benedict said to the world that he was resigning, it became a teaching moment for my students and me because we haven’t seen this happen in 600 years,” said Daniel Meraz.

The fact Pope Francis is also the world’s first pontiff from Latin America also thrilled a student body that is more than 90 percent Latino.

“It makes me proud of my heritage. Makes me want to go out of the way more and do more for the church and represent out community the best way I can,” said Rosas.

Teacher Meraz said the entire ceremony was unforgettable. “When I look at my class and see their eyes just glued to that screen and watching that, it was another sense of joy and happiness.”

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