The fact that he is a Jesuit, an insider in Rome, and the fact that he is of Hispanic descent.
In a press conference, Bishop Armando Ochoa said the election of Pope Francis was unexpected, but celebrated. "We have almost one third of all of our Catholics across the U.S. are of Hispanic origin. Consequently the receiving of a Latin American cardinal who has now been named the Vicar of Christ certainly has sent a shockwave worldwide."
The Catholic Diocese of Fresno serves more than one-million Catholics -- many of them of Latino descent.
In his native Argentina, the new pontiff has faced criticism for not preventing same-sex marriages from becoming legal in that country. Gays and lesbians have also criticized Pope Francis for claiming that same-sex marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples was discriminatory against children.