But not everyone was thrilled by the choice of this pope.
Several organizations in America worried that the Catholic church will continue what they see as policies that discriminate against homosexuals or seek to cover up sexual assaults on children.
The executive director of New Ways Ministry, a "gay-positive ministry of advocacy and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Catholics," said he hoped Pope Francis would be open to other views.
"As a cardinal in Argentina, the new pope spoke strongly against marriage equality and against the right for gay and lesbian people to adopt children," said Francis DeBernardo. "We hope that in his new office, he will have the wisdom to hear all sides of these complex issues and that he will inject pastoral messages into his statements."
And American Atheists said on its Facebook page that it found the Catholic church's decision "backward and disgusting."
"Another anti-LGBT, anti-abortion dinosaur. Despicable. Disappointed, but hardly surprised," the post said.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, in a blog post on the Media Statements section of its website, said Pope Francis had a duty to help prevent sexual assaults against children.
"We are grateful he doesn't work in the Vatican and isn't a member of the Curia. We hope that will give him the courage to shake things up and put the prevention of abuse and cover up first on his priority list," it said.