SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Brazil's would-be pope, Cardinal Odilo Scherer, might not have been very popular among his Brazilian colleagues, but the rest of the world's most Catholic country was holding its collective breath, hoping that maybe Dom Odilo, as he is known, would become the first pope to come from Latin America.
But the honor of being the 266th head of the Catholic Church and the first to represent the global south went to Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now known as Pope Francis, who hails from Brazil's neighbor — and rival — Argentina.
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Staunch in their faith, Brazilian Catholics are thrilled to have a newly elected pope and, because the decision was made by God, would never doubt it.
Brazilians both in their own country and in Vatican City have been interviewed by major networks like Globo News, all with smiles on their faces for the decision to elect a pope that is so close to home.
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Headlines in national newspapers have been all about the next pope since Benedict XVI shocked the world by stepping down and the conclave was announced. Once Pope Francis emerged, entire front pages of papers and their website homepages were dedicated to the news, including that of Estadão, branding its homepage with "A new era for the church" and numerous stories delving in to the many aspects of the Catholic Church and what the first Latin American pope means for all believers.