ALTHOUGH Santiago Cruz has never been to the Vatican or addressed throngs of faithful followers, he feels a strong connection to Pope Francis.
"It's a great opportunity to have a Latino pope at the Vatican. I'm really happy about it," said the 43-year-old Northeast Philadelphia resident. "We'll see if he brings different changes and more culture into the mix."
Cruz and many in Philadelphia's Latino community were still talking Thursday about the down-to-earth pontiff from Argentina who has been charged with moving forward a Roman Catholic Church that has suffered a deep divide.
The humility of Francis, formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was on display again Thursday less than 24 hours after his elevation. The pope picked up his own luggage and paid his hotel bill in the Vatican City. As the archbishop of Buenos Aires, he was known for taking public transportation to his office.