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Palace hails new pope


12:27 PM March 14th, 2013

By: TJ Burgonio, March 14th, 2013 12:27 PM

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang on Thursday morning hailed the election of Argentine Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio as the new Pope, saying this brings the “promise of renewal’’ in the Catholic Church.

“From the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica came an announcement of great joy: that Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio had been elected as Pope, and taken the name Francis. From the city to the world, the joyful news has been accompanied by prayer and goodwill born of new beginnings,’’ President Benigno Aquino III’s spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement.

The President, together with the Filipinos, “joins all the Catholic faithful as they receive their new leader and meet his proclamation with a sense of boundless promise,’’ Lacierda said.

“As the first pope from outside Europe in a millennium—the first pope from the Society of Jesus, and the first from Latin America—the election of Pope Francis brings with it the promise of renewal in the Catholic Church, as it strives to fulfill its mission here on earth,’’ he said.

Lacierda aired the hope that this would inaugurate a pontificate that “will bear witness not only to the basic tenets of the Gospel, but will also serve as a voice for peace, justice, and charity in a world threatened by tension and armed conflict, poverty, uncertainty, and loss of confidence in institutions.’’

“This is not merely a time for all Catholics to come together. This is a call for unity across nations—across ethnicities—to work with the new Catholic leadership towards shaping a world in which each and every human being is allowed to live a life of peace, joy, and dignity. Our administration is eager to work with the new Catholic leadership to achieve that end,’’ he said.

“Again, congratulations to Pope Francis. May God continue to grant you strength and wisdom as you lead the Catholic Church into its next chapter,’’ he added.

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