Aquino leads nation in welcoming new pope-A A +A
Thursday, March 14, 2013
MANILA -- President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday led the Filipino people in welcoming Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio as the new pope.
In his regular press briefing, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that with the election of Pope Francis, the name which Bergoglio chose to use, the Aquino administration looks forward to work with the new Catholic leadership.
"The President, along with the Filipino people, joins all the Catholic faithful as they receive their new leader and meet his proclamation with a sense of boundless promise," he said.
"We hope and pray that this will 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," Lacierda added.
He said that the election of a new pope is not merely a time for all Catholics to come together.
"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.
"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," Lacierda said.
"Our administration is eager to work with the new Catholic leadership to achieve that end," he said.
He prayed that God may continue to grant Pope Francis the strength and wisdom as he leads the Catholic Church into its next chapter.
While joining the rest of the Catholics in welcoming newly-elected Pope Francis, Vice President Jejomar Binay is hoping that he will lead the world's biggest church to the right path.
"He reminds us that serving our fellowmen is a duty not only of the Church, but of all Catholics. As he begins his Papacy, we pray that he will lead the Church with wisdom, humility, compassion and grace," he said Thursday.
For her part, Senator Loren Legarda said the new pope will help heal the wounds of "division" in the world.
"[W]e find hope that Pope Francis will lead us to the path of reconciliation, respect, and continuous dialogue not only with our fellow Catholics and Christians but also with the members of other faith and religion that we may find unity even among our differences," she said.
Issues of sexual abuse of priests and corruption in the Vatican bank have cast a shadow on the Church's reputation for years.
Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio was chosen as successor to resigned Pope Benedict XVI after a two-day conclave of 115 cardinals at the Sistine Chapel in Vatican.
He is the first pope from Latin America, where 40 percent of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics reside. He is also the first non-European to hold the post in 1,300 years. (SDR/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)