Here is the statement from Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the US bishops’ conference, on the occassion of Tuesday’s official inauguration of Francis’ pontificate.
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Most Holy Father,
On the joyful occasion of the Mass to inaugurate your ministry as Bishop of Rome, I wish to convey to you the deep affection, prayerful support and sincere pledge of fidelity of the Bishops of the United States of America and the more than 70 million Catholic faithful throughout the 195 dioceses and eparchies across our nation.
Since your election as Roman Pontiff on March 13, the Church in our country has felt a renewed sense of unity, hope and love of Jesus Christ and His Church. Your messages of mercy and forgiveness spur us on to continue the faithful work of the new evangelization in our country and our world. The inauguration of your Petrine ministry, occurring as it does on the Feast of St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, inspires us with the profound awareness that we stand as one before God and before the world united with you as our beloved Shepherd.
The election to the See of Peter of a bishop from the Americas fills us with special happiness as we sense a special bond and closeness with you. We pray for you, Holy Father, for strength, wisdom and much joy as you begin your ministry to the Church as the Vicar of Christ and the Successor of Saint Peter.