Mercoledì, 17 Ottobre 2018
ROME

World welcomes new Pope Francis I

English
© ANSA

Rome, March 13 - Pope Francis I was given a warm
welcome by leaders and faithful worldwide after being elected
the new head of the Catholic Church on Wednesday.
Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno was in St Peter's Square for the
Francis's first appearance as pope and was one of the first to
greet the promotion of the Argentine, who also becomes the new
bishop of Rome.
"A warm welcome to the new pontiff Jorge Mario Bergoglio,"
said Alemanno on his Twitter account.
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano was moved by the
simplicity of Francis's first comments as pope, ANSA sources
said.
United States President Barack Obama said that he was
looking forward to working with the new head of the world's 1.2
billion Catholics.
"As a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among
us, he carries forth the message of love and compassion that has
inspired the world for more than 2,000 years - that in each
other we see the face of God," Obama said in a statement.
"As the first pope from the Americas, his selection also
speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is
increasingly shaping our world, and alongside millions of
Hispanic Americans, those of us in the United States share the
joy of this historic day.
"Just as I appreciated our work with Pope Benedict XVI, I
look forward to working with His Holiness to advance peace,
security and dignity for our fellow human beings, regardless of
their faith".
In the Argentine capital, an explosion of joy greeted the
news that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected the Roman
Catholic Church's new pope.
Argentine President Cristina Kirchner said via Twitter that
she hoped the election of her compatriot as pope will bear fruit
for "justice, equality, fraternity and peace in the world".
Soccer great Diego Maradona is hoping to meet Francis.
"As soon as I come to Italy I hope to get an audience with
him," the ex-Napoli player and former Argentina coach told his
Italian lawyer Angelo Pisani on the phone from Dubai.
Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, hopes the
change of pope can help normalise relations with the Islamic
world, the diplomatic advisor to one of the most influential
figures for Sunni Muslims said Wednesday.
Francis's predecessor Benedict XVI angered the Islamic
world when in 2006 he quoted a past emperor who called Islam
'evil and inhuman'.
Benedict's appeals on the behalf of Christian minorities
suffering attacks in the Muslim world were also seem by some as
interference.
"Let's hope now that relations return to normal," the
advisor, Mahmud Abdel Gawad, told ANSA adding that el-Tayeb will
send Francis a telegram on Thursday.
Rome's Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni on Wednesday sent his
best wishes to Francis "so that he can lead the Catholic Church
with strength and wisdom in the coming years".
"The Church's relationship with Rome's Jewish Community and
its dialogue with Judaism have made important steps (forward),"
Di Segni added.
"The hope is that it is possible to continue on a path of
continuity and good relations".
Relations between the Vatican and the Jewish world were
strained somewhat during the papacy of Francis's predecessor
Benedict XVI, who rehabilitated an ultra-conservative cleric who
turned out to have denied the scope of the Holocaust.
The official Twitter account of the British Embassy to the
Holy See also wished Francis well.
"The British Embassy to the Holy See joins the Prime
Minister @Number10gov in welcoming the election of His Holiness
Pope Francis I," it said via Twitter.
Britain is engaged in a sovereignty dispute with Francis's
homeland over the Falkland Islands. The two nations fought a war
over the islands in 1982.
Outgoing Italian Premier Mario Monti sent regards "brimming
with hope and faith".
He went on to comment on Italy's historic ties to his
birthplace of Argentina and the name Francis, after St Francis
of Assisi, one of Italy's patron saints.
"Italians, who are linked by a special history with the
people of Argentina, are now seeing themselves in their patron
saint, Francis of Assisi, together with the world in the pursuit
of justice and peace, along with Your Holiness, with whom Italy
supports in your choice of name," said Monti.
"On behalf of all Italians, the government and myself, I
extend to Your Holiness my warmest and most respectful tribute".
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European
Commission President Jose' Manuel Barroso on Wednesday wished
Francis ''a long and blessed pontificate'' in which he can
''defend and promote the fundamental values of peace, solidarity
and human dignity''.
''We are sure that His Holiness will continue his
predecessors' work with strength and determination, bringing
peoples and religions closer to one another'', the EU leaders
said in a joint statement.

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