Local Catholics Celebrate Newly Elected Pope Francis

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - In Pope Francis' speech Wednesday, he said the Cardinals went to the end of the earth to find him. From the Vatican to Latin America where Pope Francis is from, to Huntsville, Catholics celebrated the election of their new pontiff.

Over the past few years the Catholic Church has been reeling from a sexual abuse scandal and claims of internal mismanagement. Wednesday was a day of celebration, as the election of Pope Francis ushered in a new chapter for the church.

"God doesn't see the idiosyncrasies of a human, he sees the internal workings of that human. He looks at the color of the heart, the sentiment of the heart, and the love in that heart," said Father Glenn Sayers of St. Mary of the Visitation in Huntsville.

Members St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Huntsville responded with prayer and song for their new pontiff, charged with directing a secular society in the way of peace.

According to Father Sayers, the challenges going forward will be no small matter

"They're going to be people who are naysayers, people who won`t be supportive of him," said Sayers.

But he believes in this, as in everything, a higher power is at work

"It's the Holy Spirit that moves that choice and I think the Holy Spirit hasn't made a mistake yet, we make mistakes because we're human," said Fr. Sayers.

Pope Francis is expected to hold Mass at the Sistine Chapel Thursday afternoon.