"HE brings hope to Fiji." Those were the words of Fiji's Archbishop-elect Father Dr Peter Loy Chong on the election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio who took up the name of Francis I as the 266th head of the Roman Catholic church yesterday.
Father Chong said Pope Francis I shares similarities to people in Fiji and the Pacific and would be able to relate to us. He said in today's society someone as conservative and outspoken on issues that affect the public was a blessing.
"He knows what poverty is, the struggle from colonialism to democratic reforms," he said.
"He is known to be someone that spoke against social-political issues publicly and he confronts when he needs to confront. We believe he will understand us because of his background," Father Chong said.
He says the Pope's messages relate to issues in the Pacific — his stand on the value of marriage and family — which is something Father Chong believes Fiji should learn from, in light of the current trend of sexual abuse cases. He hopes that Pope Francis I will bring about change.
"He was born and brought up in a social society out of Europe and hopefully he brings about new change that will benefit all," he said.
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