Caritas welcomes Pope Francis
13 March 2013
Caritas Internationalis hails the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires as Pope Francis. One hundred and fifteen cardinal electors chose Pope Francis to be the spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide today after a two-day conclave.
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, an Argentinean Jesuit is the first from Latin America to be Pope.
Caritas joins with Pope Francis in his prayers for the Church and the world. "Let us pray for each other, let us pray for the entire world because there is great brotherhood in the world," Pope Francis said.
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, an Argentinean Jesuit is the first from Latin America to be Pope. He played a leading role during the Argentine economic crisis in speaking out against the impact globalisation could have on the poor. He has shown deep compassion for people affected by HIV and AIDS. He visited a hospice in 2001 kissed and washed the feet of 12 AIDS patients.
Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, President of Caritas Internationalis says, “On behalf of the whole Caritas family, I’d like to express great joy at the election of Pope Francis. He has chosen the name after St Francis of Assisi, a saint who was very close to the poor and to nature. We hope he will be a great pope in supporting our working in promoting the option for poor, social justice and a humankind living in harmony with nature.”
Caritas Internationalis Vice President Erny Gillen said, "Caritas gladly welcomes the new pope, who immediately started his ministry with words of love and fraternity. Francis prayed for his predecessor and asked - in a historic way - the people of God to pray for him before blessing Rome and the World. He can count on us. We will do our best to continue serving the poor as human fellows and thus witnessing the unconditional love of God, the Father of whole humanity."
Bishop José Luis Azuaje Ayala and Fr Francisco Hernández Rojas, President and regional coordinator of Caritas Latin America and the Caribbean respectively, said, “Already Caritas member organisations in Latin and America and the Caribbean have been uplifted and strengthened by the Holy Father’s simplicity and humility. We send our thanks to the Lord for sending us Pope Francis to “preach the Good News to the poor, and to heal the broken-hearted”.
Caritas is the official humanitarian and development arm of the Catholic Church.