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Article updated: 3/25/2013 4:30 PM

Cardinal George praises new pope

Cardinal Francis George

Cardinal Francis George

 

file photo by Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

Pope Francis arrives to celebrate Mass on Palm Sunday in St. Peterís Square.

Pope Francis arrives to celebrate Mass on Palm Sunday in St. Peter's Square.

 

Associated Press

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By Associated Press

Cardinal Francis George has offered words of praise for Pope Francis upon returning from the conclave in Rome that elected new Catholic leader.

After celebrating his first Mass in Chicago since returning, George told reporters Sunday that Francis is "unassuming," "self-effacing, almost, in some ways," but with integrity that gives him a "certain authority."

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He said the new name chosen by the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina also sends a powerful message about his direction.

No other pope has taken the name Francis, and the new pope said he was inspired by the works of St. Francis of Assisi, who renounced a life of high-living for austere poverty and preached to the poor.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, George said, "That tells you something."

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