Pope Francis: In their own words

  • Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2013 12:01 a.m.

Pope Francis:

In their own words

“The Catholic University of America is proud to congratulate Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio on his election as Pope. … We pray that the Catholic Church will grow under his guidance in wisdom and Christ’s grace. And we hope to welcome him to our campus some day.”


– John Garvey, president of

Catholic University of America

“The election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has taken the name Francis I, marks a great milestone in our church. As successor to Peter, our first pope, Pope Francis I 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.”

– Cardinal Timothy Dolan,

archbishop of New York

“We congratulate Pope Francis on his election by the College of Cardinals and offer the Muslim community’s support and cooperation in every positive effort he will undertake for peace, justice and the betterment of humanity.”

– Nihad Awad, national

executive director of Council

on American-Islamic Relations



“Teresa and I will keep the Holy Father in our prayers as he begins a new era for our Church. On this momentous day, the United States renews our commitment to working closely with the Holy See to advance our shared belief in peace and humanity. We offer the Holy Father our warmest wishes of success in advancing peace, freedom, and human dignity throughout the world.”

– Secretary of State John Kerry

“It’s remarkable that they’ve chosen a Jesuit. That’s even more remarkable than choosing a non-European. That he’s a Jesuit says so much about his commitment to the poor, and that he’s taken the name of Francis — in recollection of Saint Francis of Assisi — clearly gestures that the Roman Catholic Church not only serves the poor, the Roman Catholic Church is the church of the poor.”

– Stanley Hauerwas, theology

professor at Duke Divinity School

“The selection of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the leader of the Catholic Church represents a courageous, bold and catalytic determination. The message conveyed to the global audience solidifies the fact that the center of Christianity no longer rests in the corridors of Europe or America but rather, south of the border. I commend the Cardinals for making such a historic decision.”

– The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez,

president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conferenc

“For decades the Catholic hierarchy has been in need of desperate reform. In his life, Jesus condemned gays zero times. In Pope Benedict’s short time in the papacy, he made a priority of condemning gay people routinely. This, in spite of the fact, that the Catholic hierarchy had been in collusion to cover up the widespread abuse of children within its care. We hope this Pope will trade in his red shoes for a pair of sandals and spend a lot less time condemning and a lot more time foot-washing.”

– Herndon Graddick,

president of Gay & Lesbian

Alliance Against Defamation



“As Hindus, it’s difficult to have meaningful interfaith dialogue when the Church is openly advocating for the demise of our faith,” said Padma Kuppa, HAF Executive Council member. “The appointment of Pope Francis I offers a great opportunity for the Church to build meaningful and substantive relations with a billion Hindus globally, repudiate its history of predatory proselytization, and foster a new relationship based on mutual respect, tolerance, and pluralism.”

– Padma Kuppa, Hindu American Foundation Executive Council member

Source: Religion News Service

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