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Joy becomes prayer

· Reactions and messages from bishops' conferences ·

“We are all sharing this moment of joy and we pray that he may be under the protection of the Virgin of Luján”, the Patroness of the country. These were the first words with which Archbishop José María Arancedo of Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz, President of the Bishops' Conference of Argentina, welcomed the election of Pope Francis. At a press conference the prelate, underlining the “ascetic personality” of the Argentine Pope, said he was certain that his ministry “will explore the space for evangelization and the proximity of the Church to all people and their problems”. Archbishop Arancedo sent a note to the new Pope where he expressed the joy of the entire episcopate. The prelate also sent a letter to the bishops of Argentina in which he called for prayers for Pope Francis: “I believe it is fitting that next Sunday we hold a special intention of thanksgiving and prayer for the ministry that the Church has entrusted to our brother Jorge in all the masses which will be celebrated in our dioceses”.

The representatives of the Latin American episcopates also expressed great joy, satisfaction and their closeness in prayer. On behalf of the Brazilian bishops, Archbishop José Belisário da Silva of São Luis do Maranhão and Auxiliary Bishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner of Brasília, President and General Secretary respectively, wrote a note, stating: “the the election of Francis strengthens the Church in her mission to 'make disciples of all nations', according to Jesus' mandate. Born on the 'continent of hope', His Holiness brings his evangelizing experience of the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean to his Petrine ministry”. Many bishops' conferences from every part of the world have expressed their best wishes in statements and messages.

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 20, 2019

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