Papal announcement draws people away from workouts at YMCA

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BROWN DEER (WITI) -- Most heard the news that a new leader for the Catholic church has been selected. Pope Francis (Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires) was selected to serve as pope on Wednesday, March 13th. Some were in the car, while others were in front of a television.

Others were pumping, pushing and running Wednesday afternoon at the Rite Hite Family YMCA in Brown Deer. Televisions surrounded the gym, with only two options during the workout: college basketball or pope coverage from the Vatican.

Some stopped to take a breather and watch Pope Francis be introduced to the world for the first time.

"I think that once being a Catholic, it was interesting to find out who is going to be the next vicar of Christ," Mark Presti said.

Even though Presti isn't a practicing Catholic anymore, he found himself distracted finding out who would be the next pope.

"It's a change in leadership, kind of a fresh start. I think opening the windows, and I'm all for change and I think this is a great opportunity for the church," Presti said.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio becomes the first Latin-American pope -- taking the name Francis -- also a first.

"We need a pope that's going to recognize religious women," Sister Margaret Underwood said.

Sister Underwood from the Sisters of Christian Community -- a non-Cardinal Catholic religious order, was also at the gym as the pope was announced. She said she feels the nomination is a breakthrough for the Catholic church, and hopes Pope Francis will set another precedent.

"I'm hoping we're going to look at the issues that are before the church today and that we will grow as a church and we will become more modernized," Sister Underwood said.

Some however, were disappointed former Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan was not named Pope Benedict's successor. Many said the Catholic church isn't ready for an American pope, but with Pope Francis, the first in the Americas, this is a good start.

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