STATEMENT OF ARCHBISHOP CHARLES J. CHAPUT UPON THE ELECTION OF OUR NEW HOLY FATHER, POPE FRANCIS
I first met our new Holy Father at Rome’s 1997 Synod for America, and still have a gift from him, a portrait of Mary, the mother of Jesus, on my desk.
Pope Francis, the former Cardinal Bergoglio, is a man from the new heartland of the global Church; a priest of extraordinary intellectual and cultural strengths; a man deeply engaged in the issues of contemporary life and able to speak to the modern heart; open to the new realities the Church faces; and rooted in a deep love of Jesus Christ. He is a wonderful choice; a pastor God sends not just to the Church but to every person of good will who honestly yearns for justice, peace and human dignity in our time. May God grant him courage and joy, and sustain him with his divine presence.
And may Catholics in Philadelphia and around the world lift him up with our prayers.