Church United in Prayer for Pope Francis

Lay Movement Representatives Express Closeness With Newly Elected Pontiff

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In a message to the newly elected Pontiff, Bishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi sent Pope Francis an affectionate and filial embrace as well as joyful greetings. “We are with you, dear Holy Father. You are Peter! We are with you as the one Church of Jesus, Our Lord and Savior.” The message continues, stating: “we will follow you, with affection and obedience.”

The Franciscan Brothers of Assisi gave glory to God and rejoiced over the election of the Supreme Pontiff, formerly known as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. The Franciscan Family, states their communique, “embraces the Holy Father with sentiments of gratitude, sincere affection and profound respect.”

“In this Year of Faith, we accompany you at the beginning of your ministry with incessant prayer.”

Through its national director, Salvatore Martinez, the Italian Movement of Charismatic Renewal said that it was “very emotional to see Pope Francis bow before the People of God asking for prayer and making the whole Church pray. He is a Jesuit, Martinez continues, “who puts the whole world in the steps of Francis, the great evangelizer who fascinated the world in the sign of joy and poverty of spirit. A sign promoted by Latin America, the continent of hope.”

The head of  the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, Bishop Javier Echevarria, also sent words to the Roman Pontiff, acknowledging that “from the moment we saw the white smoke we have welcomed him with profound gratitude and now, following Benedict XVI’s example, we manifest to him our unconditional veneration and obedience.”

He continued affirming that “we all trust in His Holiness’ prayer to contribute effectively, with joyful willingness to the task of evangelization that the Pope mentioned in his first greeting to the Church.” And, as Saint Josemaria Escriva always counseled, he added: “I pray to the Lord in a very special way that all of us Christians will have ‘only one will, only one heart, only one spirit,’ [that] all be united to the Pope, and go to Jesus through Mary.”

Maria Voce, president of the Focolare Movement, also acknowledged that “together with the whole Church, I am truly happy at this time, which shows us the vitality of the Church as well as the freshness of the Holy Spirit, who always finds the way to surprise us.” She added that “the choice of the name Francis is very significant, because I think it expresses the desire of a return to the radicalness of the Gospel, to a sober life, to great attention to humanity and also to all religions.”

In their communique upon election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Supreme Pontiff, Kiko Argüello, Carmen Hernandez and Father Mario Pezzi, initiators of the Neocatechumenal Way, said that “Pope Francis is a great hope for the Church.”

“We are convinced that he is a providential Pope for these times and he will bring the Gospel tirelessly around the world.”

They added that he has always been close to the Way and has demonstrated his affection to them and expressed his support. Concluding their statement, the initiators stated that “all the people of the Neocatechumenal Way will pray for him and for his pontificate.”

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Rocío Lancho García

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