ROME (CBS) – Boston Archbishop Cardinal Sean O’Malley appears to be relieved he wasn’t chosen to be pope by his fellow cardinals.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Joe Mathieu reports

In his first news conference since Argentina’s Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio became Pope Francis I, O’Malley said he was looking forward to getting back to Boston and not staying at the Vatican as the 266th pope.

“He’s a prisoner in a museum,’’ O’Malley joked to reporters at the North American Pontifical College Thursday in Rome. “It’s not a wonderful life.’’

However, O’Malley had plenty of praise for the new pope, whom he visited in Argentina in December 2010.

The two also had lunch together Wednesday before the final votes of the conclave.

It was the first time O’Malley had voted for a pope and it had a profound impact on him. He became a cardinal in 2006 and he never imagined as a child that he would be part of a conclave.

“When you walk up with the ballot in your hand and stand before the image of The Last Judgement and say, ‘With Christ as my witness I am voting for the one who I feel, is the one God wants to do this,’ that is a great responsibility. And obviously, we’re delighted the Holy Spirit moved us to elect Pope Francis. I certainly approve of the name,” O’Malley said laughing.  Bergoglio chose the name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, the Catholic friar.

He said it was “very moving” to witness the new pope’s first prayer while “listening to the roar of enthusiasm and seeing all the flashes going off” in the crowd of 100,000 plus in St. Peter’s Square Wednesday night.

O’Malley and the College of Cardinals celebrated an inaugural Mass with Pope Francis in the Sistine Chapel Thursday afternoon.


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