American with KC ties 'ecstatic' to witness the announcement of Pope Francis

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The College of Cardinals selected a new pope on Wednesday, and thousands gathered to see the historic moment.

"We were ecstatic!" That was the reaction from 41 Action News Call for Action reporter Keith King's sister, Lori King, following the introduction of Pope Francis. 

Lori currently teaches Roman Catholic Tradition studies in Rome.

This week, she had a front row seat to this historical event … and, while doing my brotherly duties, I have been bugging her by sending emails and texts trying to get any inside scoop. 

"I turned to the seminarian standing next to me who said, 'Francesco the First! Francesco the First!' Everyone was elated," Lori said.  

This is not her first papal election. In 2005, she was front and center for the announcement of Pope Benedict XVI. This time, she said it felt different because of the buzz that an American may actually get the title. 

"There were a lot of Italians around me who were sure it was going to be an American pope," she said.

When Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina first appeared, the crowd erupted into wild cheers. As the 76-year-old began to speak, the tone changed. 

"It was very quiet, and he took his time," Lori said. "The most beautiful thing was that he asked us before he received his benediction that we would give him our silent benediction -- the moment of silence that we all pray for the new pope."

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