(MOBILE, Ala.) - A Jesuit priest at Mobile's Spring Hill College said Tuesday that Pope Francis will be a protector of the church, and of the most vulnerable people around the world.
On Wednesday, Pope Francis will have an audience with Christian delegations who attended his installation Tuesday. During his installation Mass, he urged people to be "protectors of one another and of the environment."
Pope Francis said his role is to protect all of humanity, but "especially the poorest, the weakest, the less important."
Spring Hill College President Fr. Richard Salmi said it is fitting that the pope's installation was held on the Feast of St. Joseph, the patron saint of the Universal Church. Salmi said St. Joseph is known as a protector, and he said it is very much the man he sees in the head of the church today.
"I think he's going to take the church away from the bureaucracy," Salmi said, "and start to dismantle that curia and Vatican bureaucracy and remind us that we are a church that is supposed to be there for the poor, the sick, the needy."
Salmi said, after watching the installment ceremonies earlier Tuesday morning, Pope Francis is already making known his plans of the papacy.
"He rode in an open-air vehicle through St. Peter's Square, got out of his vehicle at one point and walked over to a man who was in a wheelchair, severely handicapped, and kissed him and blessed him," Salmi said, "You're already seeing that he is his own man, and, I think, one of the things that excites me about his papacy is that he really will be the the people's pope, and he will be moved by the people."
Salmi said it is the subtext found in Tuesday's events, with Mass being said in a variety of world languages and the pope greeting the world's dignitaries.
Though catholics have known their new leader for a week, Salmi said the church's future looks bright.
"The pope said to embrace all of mankind, all of humanity," Salmi said, "and I hope that we'll be able to do that under this pope's leadership."