Archbishop of Hartford Henry Mansell called Wednesday "an historic day" as Pope Francis I was introduced to the world.
"We share this momentous day with over 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide and people of every faith," Mansell said. "It is a joyous day, one filled with hope and promise. The announcement of Pope Francis is one that will affect people everywhere, because of the Catholic Church's longstanding tradition of providing services to people of every background."
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was elected by his fellow cardinals Wednesday. He replaces Benedict XVI, who retired last month.
Word that a new pope had been elected came with the sign of white smoke pouring from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel at The Vatican, at 2:06 p.m. EST. The identity of Pope Francis was revealed about an hour later.
"We are grateful. We are excited. We are overflowing with hope and a deep sense of renewal," said Most Rev. Michael Cote, Bishop of Norwich. "As the first Pope ever chosen from South America, the Holy Father will have a special appreciation for the prosperity of faith in Latin America."