Statement issued by Opus Dei
This is a moment of great joy for Catholics all over the world. Pope Francis is the 265th successor of Peter. From the moment the white smoke was first seen we have welcomed him with great thanks. And now, following the example of Benedict XVI, we express to him our unconditional reverence and obedience and also our affection and prayer, continuing the prayers that we shared with the Pope during his first appearance on the balcony of blessings in Saint Peter’s Basilica. In this moment filled with emotion, when the Church’s universality is vividly sensed, I reaffirm to the new Roman Pontiff complete adhesion to his person and ministry, with the certainty that I am expressing the sentiments of the faithful, both priests and laity, of the Prelature of Opus Dei. We all entrust ourselves to the prayers of His Holiness, in order to contribute effectively, with joyful availability, to the work of evangelization that the Pope mentioned in his first greeting to the Church. During these weeks of serene waiting, much has been said about the burden that weighs on the shoulders of the Holy Father. But let us not forget that the Pope relies on God’s help, on the assistance of the Holy Spirit and the affection and prayers of all Catholics, and of millions of other men and women of good will. As Saint Josemaría Escrivá always advised, I ask Our Lord today very especially that all of us Catholics may share “one will, one heart, one spirit, so that omnes cum Petro ad Iesum per Mariam — so that we may all go to Jesus, closely united to the Pope, through Mary” (The Forge, 647).
–Javier Echevarría, Prelate of Opus Dei
Statement from the general director of the Legionaries of Christ
The cardinal protodeacon filled us all with joy when he announced that Pope Francis has taken the helm of the Bark of Peter. All the Legionaries of Christ and members of Regnum Christi throughout the world would like to welcome him as an expression of our unconditional filial adherence to his person and his ministry. The simplicity and humility with which he addressed all of us in St. Peter’s Square reinforced the affection that we had already given him in faith.
Benedict XVI reminded us on February 11 that the Petrine ministry demands strength of soul and body. For this reason, on my own part and in the name of the whole Regnum Christi Movement, I would like to offer our prayers and our collaboration to carry on the task of evangelizing. We unite ourselves to all the faithful of the Church and to men and women of good will to support and accompany the 265th successor of St. Peter in his ministry.
Love for the Pope and fidelity to him have always been a very meaningful part of our spiritual patrimony. In the Vicar of Christ, we have found a sure beacon that has guided us through the storms of our recent history. I ask the Lord to grant us the grace of knowing how to walk “in step with the Church,” docile not only to the directives of the Pope, but also his desires.
Thank you Lord, for the gift of Pope Francis!
-Fr. Sylvester Heereman, LC
Vicar General of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi
Patriarch Kirill’s Message
I congratulate you on your election to the eminent and responsible position of being the First Hierarch of the Roman Catholic Church.
Under your predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, the relationships between our Churches received a new momentum and were characterized by a positive dynamism. I sincerely hope that Your Holiness would promote co-operation between our two churches in the spirit of brotherly love and mutual understanding.
At your accession to the papacy you chose the name Francis, which recalls famous Catholic saints who have served as an example of sacrificial devotion to alleviating people’s suffering and zealous preaching of the Gospel. In your choice one can see your desire to continue to care for the poor and the afflicted, which you showed in compassion and love over the many years of your service in Argentina, carrying the message of Christ crucified and risen to the modern world.
This same mission is now a priority for the Russian Orthodox Church, opening the possibility for co-operation and interaction with the Roman Catholic Church.
Orthodox and Catholics should be determined to combine their efforts to protect harassed and persecuted Christians in various parts of the world, as these people need our support and aid. We need to labor together for the affirmation of traditional moral values in modern secular societies.
Please accept, Your Holiness, my best wishes for peace, spiritual strength and physical vigor, so that the generous support of God would come to you in the carrying out of your responsible ministry.
With fraternal affection in the Lord,
–Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
Statement From Jesuit General Director
In the name of the Society of Jesus, I give thanks to God for the election of our new Pope, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., which opens for the Church a path full of hope.
All of us Jesuits accompany with our prayers our brother and we thank him for his generosity in accepting the responsibility of guiding the Church at this crucial time. The name of “Francis” by which we shall now know him evokes for us the Holy Father’s evangelical spirit of closeness to the poor, his identification with simple people, and his commitment to the renewal of the Church. From the very first moment in which he appeared before the People of God, he gave visible witness to his simplicity, his humility, his pastoral experience and his spiritual depth.
“The distinguishing mark of our Society is that it is … a companionship … bound to the Roman Pontiff by a special bond of love and service” (Complementary Norms, No. 2, § 2).
Thus, we share the joy of the whole Church, and at the same time, wish to express our renewed availability to be sent into the vineyard of the Lord, according to the spirit of our special vow of obedience, which unites us in a special way to the Holy Father (General Congregation 35, Decree 1, No. 17).
–Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, Superior General of the Society of Jesus
Statement from Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York
The election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has taken the name Francis, marks a great milestone in our Church. 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. 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!” (For many years!)
President of the United States, Barack Obama
On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I offer our warm wishes to His Holiness Pope Francis as he ascends to the Chair of Saint Peter and begins his papacy.
As a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us, he carries forth the message of love and compassion that has inspired the world for more than two thousand years—that in each other we see the face of God.
As the first pope from the Americas, his selection also speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is increasingly shaping our world, and alongside millions of Hispanic Americans, those of us in the United States share the joy of this historic day.
Just as I appreciated our work with Pope Benedict XVI, I look forward to working with His Holiness to advance peace, security and dignity for our fellow human beings, regardless of their faith. We join with people around the world in offering our prayers for the Holy Father as he begins the sacred work of leading the Catholic Church in our modern world.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon
I offer my heartfelt congratulations [to the new Pope]… I look forward to continuing cooperation between the United Nations and the Holy See under the wise leadership of His Holiness Pope Francis.
We share many common goals—from the promotion of peace, social justice and human rights, to the eradication of poverty and hunger—all core elements of sustainable development.
I am certain that His Holiness will continue to build on the legacy of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, in the promotion of interfaith dialogue which is at the heart of the Alliance of Civilizations initiative.
Russian President Vladimir Putin
I am confident that the constructive partnership between Russia and the Vatican will continue, and will further develop on the basis of the Christian values that unite us. Your Holiness, I wish you good health, well-being and productive work in strengthening peace and in furthering dialogue between civilizations and religions.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron
A momentous day for the 1.2 billion Catholics around the world as His Holiness Pope Francis I is appointed the 266th Bishop of Rome.
Argentine President Cristina Kirchner
We wish him, as he takes the reins of the Church, a fruitful pastoral mission, with such tremendous responsibility on his shoulders, seeking justice, equality, brotherhood and peace among mankind.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying
We hope that under the leadership of the new Pope the Vatican will adopt a practical and flexible attitude and create conditions for the improvement of China-Vatican relations.
Al-Azhar (Sunni Islam’s highest seat of learning) spokesman Mahmud Azab
We are hoping for better relations with the Vatican after the election of the new Pope.