"In an ideal world, it would be an open and honest look at the structures that continue to perpetuate sexual abuse in the church," said Nicole Sotelo, a spokesman for Call to Action, a U.S. Catholic reform group, and author of "Women Healing From Abuse."
Sotelo echoed the sentiments of other Catholics concerned about the new pope's position.
"He has chosen a name that has not been used by any pope before in history," she said. "Let's hope he is sending a symbol that he is willing to break with tradition and do something new. ... and be the pope who listens to the concerns of Catholics around the globe and lives out the heart of the gospel message, which is justice."