Updated Wed, Mar 13, 2013 6:22 pm
Just hours after the cardinals elected a new pope, Ohio University Catholic students are reflecting on what the new leadership means for their generation.
Sarah Nimeth is president of the Newman Community, a Catholic student organization in Athens. She said Wednesday's announcement was a surprise to her and many other Catholic students.
"We're all very surprised to hear that it only took two days for them to choose the next pope," said Nimeth. "It's really early, but I think excitement is the best word [to describe how we're feeling]."
Argentine Jorge Bergoglio was elected pope Wednesday afternoon, and is the first ever from the Americas and the first from outside of Europe in more than a millennium. He chose the name Pope Francis.
Nimeth said she said thinks Pope Francis will bring a fresh perspective to the Catholic religion.
"All of the previous popes have been from Europe or Africa. This definitely does bring new perspective to Catholics," she said.
She also noted that much has changed for the Catholic youth since Pope Benedict XVI was elected eight years ago.
"Our maturity levels have grown since then. Now, being college students and being more aware of the news around us and having the social media that we do, it makes us more interested and makes us want to learn more about who this guy is and what he is going to for our religion," said Nimenth.