I'm Protestant, not Catholic, but have so many Catholic friends that are like family to me that I do feel apart at least of the fringe celebrating the new Pope Francis. I was able to catch his first public address as Pope on my television, which was rather interesting as the captions were doubly delayed, having to first wait for the English translator!
Anyhow, I have to say it's pretty cool to see a South American as Pope, and what I hear so far about his past policies and stances bodes well for how he will handle his time as the earthly head of the Catholic Church.
Eight years ago I was in Rome, marveling at the size and history of the Vatican. Just a few weeks later I watched the square fill up with mourners after the death of John Paul II. I heard about Pope Benedict's election, but wasn't really tuned in to specifics. It would be another two years before I found the books of Regina Doman and getting to know all of my Catholic friends and understanding their faith. So it's really with an entirely different perspective that I've watched the events of the last month, and particularly the excitement of today.
I mean, for goodness sakes! Eight years ago we didn't have Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr and all the other social media that is so prevalent that it warranted a mention in the speeches from the Vatican today. "Global" celebrations are now truly global, as people from all over the world can communicate instantly with each other.