Although 76-year-old Jorge Mario Bergoglio was a surprise candidate to become Pope, Redemptorist priest Fr Michael Cusack says that “ability is more important than age.”
Fr Cusack was driving back to the St Joseph’s Monastery when he heard on the radio that white smoke had emerged in Rome.
“It was a big surprise when Jorge Mario Bergoglio stepped onto the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica,” said Fr Cusack while speaking to The Dundalk Democrat, “But I was delighted. He wasn’t a person that I considered for the job.
“I was hoping that the Pope would come from Central America or Latin America and I was very happy.
“A lot has been said regarding the age of Pope Francis. Ability is more important than age. It is a calling, a vocation, not employment.”
Fr Cusack, who is also the Administrator of the Parish of St Joseph’s, believes that Pope Francis models the life of Christ.
“He brings hope to the Church,” said Fr Cusack, “He is a prayerful man, in touch with his flock in his home country. He seems to be a compassionate man.
“He has reached out to the poor and is at the heart of the Church.”
Fr Cusack, a native of Carrickmacross, believes Pope Francis cannot be blamed for the Church’s faults.
“Pope Francis was not in Rome, he lived in his home country,” Fr Cusack says, “He cannot be blamed for the wrongdoings.
“We pray that he will bring hope to the Church.”