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Statements begin to come in on election of new Pope, Francis I
WEST MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - We'll be collecting statements here as they come in from local church officials on the election of Cardinal Jorge Bengoglio to the Papacy.
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“Through the College of Cardinals’ prayerful and devoted deliberation within the papal conclave, Pope Francis I has been elected as the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church in the world and successor to Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI.
The former Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Pope Francis I will be our first pontiff from a Latin American country. That background will be a significant asset as the demographics of the Church continue to change around the world.
Together with members of the faithful throughout the world I welcome Pope Francis I and offer my prayers that the Holy Spirit will guide him as he assumes the role of chief pastor, spiritual leader and administrator of the universal Catholic Church and leads the Church and its people into the future.”
--Bishop Walter A. Hurley, The Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids
"With great joy and excitement, the Diocese of Kalamazoo embraces the news of the selection of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church who now, and forever, will be known by the name of Pope Francis I. As the fruit of fervent prayer and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Cardinal-electors have fulfilled their extremely important responsibility of choosing the new Holy Father who has now assumed the pastoral leadership of the Church. We pray, Pope Francis I’s leadership and pastoral guidance will last for many years to come. In this grace-filled Season of Lent, as we draw ever closer to the glorious celebration of the new life of Easter, I join with Catholics in the Diocese of Kalamazoo, and all people of good will, as we rejoice in this profoundly important news. May God bless Pope Francis I, the Shepherd and Leader of the universal Catholic Church, as we advance the New Evangelization and move into a new chapter in the mission of the Church to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to all the world."
--Bishop Paul Bradley, The Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo