Pope Francis I called Wednesday for “brotherhood” in the Roman Catholic Church and prayed for “pope emeritus” Benedict XVI in his first speech upon being elected pontiff.
The former Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the first Latin American pope, said fellow cardinals “went to the other end of the world” to find a new pope.
Bergoglio, 76, was named as leader of some 1.2 billion Catholics after five rounds of voting in the Vatican — one more than when predecessor Benedict XVI was elected in 2005.
Bergoglio is the 266th pope in the Catholic Church’s 2,000-year history
Catholic worshippers erupted in applause Wednesday at the cathedral in Buenos Aires upon news that the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina had been elected Pope Francis I.
Some 200 somewhat surprised worshippers gave the new pontiff a standing ovation after the announcement, as crowds and media descended on the cathedral, which is located on the historic Plaza de Mayo.
The European Union offered its “sincere congratulations” Wednesday to the newly-elected Pope Francis I of Argentina, urging him to promote peace, solidarity and human dignity in a rapidly changing world.
“On behalf of the European Union, we convey our sincere congratulations on your election,” EU President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso said in a joint statement after Jorge Mario Bergoglio was named as the church’s first Latin American pontiff.
“We wish you a long and blessed Pontificate, which will allow your Holiness and the Catholic Church to defend and promote the fundamental values of peace, solidarity and human dignity,” they said.
“They are essential signposts in a world facing numerous challenges and undergoing deep change.
“We are convinced that your Holiness will continue to further with determination and strength the work of your predecessors by bringing the world’s people and religions closer together.”