(Memphis, TN) The world's eyes have been glued to the Vatican waiting on the announcement of Pope Francis I.
“Well I think it`s great. Particularly here in west Tennessee,” said Michael Allen, CEO of Catholic Charities of West Tennessee.
He says the coverage and mystique surrounding the conclave and the selection of Pope Francis is increasing the number of people renewing their interest in the Catholic faith.
Just 4% of the population here in Memphis and West Tennessee are Catholic, but leaders of the catholic church here hope all this attention will turn into renewed interest on their faith.
Allen says it`s a good time to be receptive to that interest, but not take advantage of it.
“An event like this is not for us to go out and try to raise money. That would be completely inappropriate and wrong. But it is to raise awareness about who we are and what we do as a church and as a charity,” said Allen.
During the soaring interest catholicvote.org is running an online ad campaign to make people aware of their organization and values of the catholic group.
After sex scandals rocked the church Allen hopes the positive coverage will also be a new beginning for the image of the church, and he says the positive affects impacts everyone in Memphis.
“Probably 95% of the people who the Catholic Charities of West Tennessee helps are not Catholic,” said Allen.
Allen says the church must now maintain this interest by building on what people know about the Catholic faith.