New pope "prisoner in a museum," jokes Boston's O'Malley

ROME Boston Archbishop Cardinal Sean O'Malley says Pope Francis will be a good leader for the church but joked that the new pope is "a prisoner in a museum".

"People talk about the ... palace that the pope has and everything," O'Malley said.

"He's a prisoner in a museum. I hope Pope Francis will be able to sneak out occasionally to go to a tango show!"

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

"It's not a wonderful life", O'Malley told reporters at the North American Pontifical College Thursday in Rome.

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

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. O'Malley is a member of the Franciscan order and regularly wears the traditional brown cassock associated with St. Francis.

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.

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