Statement from the Archbishop of Sydney
Statement from the Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell on election of new Holy Father
Cardinal Pell has warmly welcomed and is delighted with the new Holy Father, Pope Francis. Cardinal Pell said: "The Catholic Church has her first non-European pope since the eighth century.
"Pope Francis is also the first pope from South America and the first pope to take the name St Francis of Assisi, an important and symbolic decision."He is also the first pope to be elected from the Jesuit order, which was founded by Ignatius of Loyola and which was the major force in the Counter Reformation and in restoring the faith across Europe.
"These are all happy omens which were reflected in the enthusiasm of the immense crowd of people in St Peter's Square for the announcement of the news.
"The church has a new father, a new successor of Peter.
"He is a man of wide pastoral experience who has lived through very difficult times in Argentina during periods of military rule and financial turmoil."
The Cardinal said he was excited and looks forward to the future with confidence as we have a pope of acknowledged piety and proven orthodoxy who has shown an ability to take decisions, and hard decisions.
"He will support national hierarchies in the struggle against sexual abuse, giving priority to victims and one of his first tasks will be to examine the three hundred-page report on the workings of the Vatican by the three cardinals.
"God has blessed the church and I am sure that all Australian Catholics will continue in their loyalty to the papacy and to the new pope."
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