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US, Canadian bishops welcome election of Pope Francis

Catholic World News - March 14, 2013

The presidents of the US and Canadian bishops’ conferences have issued statements welcoming the election of Pope Francis as Successor of St. Peter.

“The election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has taken the name Francis, marks a great milestone in our Church,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. “As successor to Peter, our first pope, Pope Francis stands as the figure of unity for all Catholics wherever they reside. The bishops of the United States and the people of our 195 dioceses offer prayers for our new leader and promise allegiance to him.”

“Intense prayer from all around the world surrounded the election of Pope Francis,” he added. “The bishops of the United States thank God for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the inspired choice of the College of Cardinals. With joy in our hearts, we declare ‘Ad Multos Annos!’”

“I joyfully offer our sincerest congratulations, highest esteem, and loving obedience to you as Bishop of Rome, Successor of the Apostle Peter, Supreme Pontiff, and head of the College of Bishops,” Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton said in a letter to the new Pope.

“The Church is currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council,” he added. “In the course of that great event, the Council Fathers solemnly affirmed the sacred primacy of the Roman Pontiff and his unique place in the communion of Bishops. As at the same time we mark the Year of Faith, we recall its apostolic foundation, and in particular the deference shown by the early Church to the voice of the Apostle Peter.”

“With joy the Bishops of Canada now extend that same deference to Your Holiness, and pledge to you our loyalty and support, as together we strive to give faithful witness to the death and resurrection of our Lord,” he continued. “May the Holy Spirit pour out upon you in abundance all the gifts you need to be our ‘rock,’ our sure foundation, and to strengthen all your brothers and sisters in the faith.”

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