Dubuque archbishop on election of Pope Francis I - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque archbishop on election of Pope Francis I

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

The following was released as the statement of Archbishop Hanus of the Archdiocese of Dubuque:

"The election of the Argentinean cardinal, Jorge Bergoglio, as Pope is a historic moment for the Catholic Church. He is the first Pope from the Americas. He has spent many years serving in South America as bishop, teacher and spiritual director. All of this experience has prepared him well for his ministry as Pope.

"I am very pleased by what I observed this afternoon. He came before the people dressed in the ordinary white cassock of the Pope. This is so consistent with his record of identifying with the poor. He is known for living a very simple life. As cardinal-archbishop of Buenos Aires, he lived in a simple apartment, used public transportation, and often cooked his own meals.

"When he appeared on the balcony, his first words were addressed to the people of Rome. He presented himself as their bishop. Very significantly, he asked the people to pray and bless him, before he would bless them. He put on the stole of priestly authority only to bless them, and immediately removed it.

"He also asked them to pray with him for our beloved retired Holy Father, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He led the people praying in Italian the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be.

"His use of the Italian language was excellent. He said the prayers by memory. Maybe he learned them as a child, since his ancestors had migrated from Italy to Argentina.

"Pope Francis is the first religious to be elected Pope in more than a century and a half. He is a Jesuit – the first Jesuit to be elected Pope. This is another reason why this is a historic moment in the Catholic Church.

"He has taken the name Francis. We don't know yet whether his patron is Francis of Assisi (which would be greatly appreciated by the Italians and many others) or Saint Francis Xavier, the famous Jesuit missionary. Maybe he intends to have both as his patrons.

"I am thrilled with the promise of this election. Let us all pray for him, as he asked, that God would give him the strength to serve as Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, and Pastor of the Universal Church."

Archbishop Jerome Hanus, OSB

March 13, 2013

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