In the humility and vigor of his first appearance, Pope Francis gave immediate hope and spiritual renewal to the world's Catholics.
Secular liberals hoping the new pope will bend the Church's teachings to their political agenda -- such as acceptance of same-sex marriage -- will no doubt be disappointed to discover that Francis is, in fact, a Catholic.
It was an inspired and history-changing choice for the cardinals to elect the first pope from the New World.
As American Catholics face a continuing battle with the Obama administration, and the President's secular liberal allies, over Obamacare's abortion mandate and President Obama's push for universal acceptance of same-sex marriage, we can take heart that we have a new pope who has already shown he is willing to stand before worldly leaders girded only in Christ's teachings to tell them they are wrong.
In Argentina, the Pope worked to assert the church's moral influence and support traditional values.
As Bishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis' legacy in Argentina included rebuilding the Church's reputation after many followers were disheartened when the Church failed to openly challenge Argentina's murderous 1976-83 dictatorship.
If Pope Francis' outspoken criticism of Argentine President Cristina Kirchner didn't stop her from imposing radical secular liberal policies, such as same-sex marriage and adoption to free contraceptives for all, he provided the great moral compass that society must have when temporary political expediency points a nation or a people in the wrong direction.
Such moral leadership and courage will inject much-needed backbone into the bishops, priests, and lay-leaders here in the United States, where the Church has too often adopted the trends and habits of a secular amoral society.
The election of Pope Francis is a life-changing, world changing event for Catholics, and all Christians, who can be inspired by what he told priests in Argentina last year: 'Jesus teaches us another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit.'
Richard Viguerie is a veteran political activist and commentator based in the U.S. He is the chairman of ConservativeHQ. The opinions he expresses are not necessarily shared by Spero.