Buffalo Catholic Diocese Bishop Richard J. Malone
BUFFALO, N.Y. - The new Pope's break from many of the traditions of past popes has caught the attention of the entire world. Specifically, his message of humility seems to be resonating with local Catholics and Christians.
Among both the Bishop and Catholic parishioners across the region, there seemed to be an excitement about Pope Francis on Easter Sunday.
This year also marked Bishop Richard Malone's first Easter Sunday as bishop of the Buffalo Diocese. During morning mass at St. Joseph Cathedral, the bishop echoed Pope Francis's call for World Peace. He also spoke to us afterward about why he thinks the new pope has set such a wonderful example for people of faith, not just here in Western New York, but across the world.
"I think our new Holy Father is going to constantly be before us as really an icon of Christ the good shepherd," Bishop Malone said. "And of course, that's not a reminder. I have to tell people over and over because they think that the call the Holy Father is giving to humility and simplicity and all is directed somehow to the world's bishops. But it's directed to every Christian, especially every Catholic. Everything he says is for all of the Catholic People."
Bishop Malone said he also was very impressed with Pope Francis's outreach to other religions, specifically with the followers of Islam. He believes the pope will make great strides in pursuing peace and reconciliation between Christians and Muslims.
Those attending the Bishop's mass have been equally moved by the new Pope.
"How could not not respect a humble man and listen to him?" asked Gary Rotundo. "If he sets the pace, all we can do is follow."
The Pope's message regarding the poor also seems to be inspiring Western New Yorkers this Easter Sunday.