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Las Vegas bishop surprised by selection of new pope

Molly Waldron

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Las Vegas bishop surprised by selection of new pope

By Molly Waldron. CREATED Mar 13, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Catholics in the Las Vegas area are celebrating the selection of a new pope and the future of the church.

Action News spoke with Las Vegas Bishop Joseph A. Pepe on Wednesday, who said he was surprised by the decision the Cardinals made in their selection. But Pepe said the more he thought about it, the more it made sense.

Bishop Pepe believes that the cardinals were looking for a pope that would bring simplicity back to the religion and direct his people in Catholic traditions.

Bishop Pepe said he's never met the new pope, but like many Catholics, he's looking forward to new leadership.

Pope Francis is from Argentina, signifying a major step for Latinos. In Las Vegas, Latinos represent 34 percent of Catholics.

Bishop Pepe said Pope Francis' message of humility and simplicity will connect with local Catholics.