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Chicago cardinal praises Pope Francis

March 17, 2013 at 3:01 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, March 17 (UPI) -- Cardinal Francis George of Chicago said the church's selection of Pope Francis is very important for the Latino population because he understands their culture.

"Beyond that, for the universal church, it means that we are global, truly, in fact as well as in intentionality," George said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday.

George admitted that the church's sex abuse scandal will be difficult to move past while there are still victims suffering.

But Pope Francis does support exiling the guilty priests from the ministry, George said, a decision that required the altering of canon law.

"Then we have to be sure that it won't happen again, as much as we possibly can, and then stay with the victims. But the structures are in place now. The code of canon law has been changed," George said.

George also said Pope Francis will be more adept at community with the people and bridging the gap between the Vatican and the Americas, than his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.

"But Pope Benedict was not as extroverted, obviously. He was a very shy man, a good man, a kind man, but he had difficulty showing that in public, so used was he to talking to books as much as to people," George said. "And this man is a pastor, first and foremost. He spent all his life being close to people, especially the poor."

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