Here are some responses from readers:
A very positive development indeed. Benedict was a great Pope and Francis will in my view be an altogether worthy successor.
George von Schoenberg, Ottawa
More of the same: a conservative old man surrounded by conservative old men who care little of what people think because it is all about them and only them, and it will remain that way. They love poor and uneducated people who they can bully and lord their power over.
David Foley, Dryden, Ont.
I think the Pope has a huge impact on the Church and the world. I think they have a good leader they can rally around. He will lead them well, judging by his first homily. He is preaching the main message of the Bible and he is upholding its truths.
Carol McIlroy, Stratford, Ont.
Pope Francis has a Masters in chemistry and also studied philosophy so he would have been heavily influenced by metaphysical concepts as much as theological. An extremely complex new Pope but it'll be very interesting to watch the direction in which he leads the Church.
Irene Miwa, Toronto
It is very important to have selected a Pope from the Americas as a sign of changing with the future, and Pope Francis in particular is known for reaching out to the poor. The Catholic Church needs to reach out to people now, possibly more than ever.
Jamie Thibodeau, Comox, B.C.