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Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 10°C
(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
pope francis

Reactions from world leaders to the election of Pope Francis

World leaders have been sending their congratulations to the new pontiff.

THE ARCHBISHOP OF Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been named as the new pontiff and will take the name Francis.

The 76-year-old emerged from the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica to the cry of “Habemus Papam!” (“We Have a Pope!”), as tens of thousands of pilgrims broke down in tears, overcome with emotion.

Elsewhere, world leaders have been sending their well wishes and already making calls on Pope Francis, the first pontiff from the Americas.

President Michael D. Higgins issued a statement on behalf of the people of Ireland sending best wishes but acknowledging the tough job ahead of the new pontificate:

Despite the pressures and distractions of a more complex world, people all over the globe still yearn for a sense of spiritual meaning to their lives. Your leadership of the Church will therefore be of immense importance in providing ethical guidance and moral encouragement towards a world that is more just, more compassionate and more focused on a shared sense of community.

The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, welcomed the decision to choose the first pope from the Americas as it shows a change within the Catholic Church. Mr Kenny added: “We pray that he will have the strength, the good health and the spiritual guidance needed to lead the Catholic Church in the many challenges it faces.”

UN leader Ban Ki-Moon called on the new pope to build on efforts to improve relations between the world’s different religions. In a statement welcoming the election of the new pontiff, Ban said he was certain that Francis would “build on the legacy of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, in the promotion of inter-faith dialogue.”
President Barack Obama offered “warm wishes” to Pope Francis and said the selection speaks to the strength and vitality of the Americas.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said it was “a momentous day for the 1.2 billion Catholics around the world.”

In a joint statement, EU President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso, offered their “sincere congratulations” and urged Pope Francis to promote peace, solidarity and human dignity in a rapidly changing world.

In Latin America, there were tears and cheers at the news that of the first pope from the hemisphere. Even in Communist Cuba, there was pride as church bells rang to celebrate the news.

Pope Francis will be inaugurated at a mass on Tuesday.

Additional reporting AP

Read: And the new pope is… Jorge Mario Bergoglio >

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