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More on Pope Francis


Pope Francis celebrated the Mass of the Inauguration of his Petrine Ministry on March 19, 2013. Read his homily and see the Mass program.

Statement on the election of Pope Francis

The election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has taken the name Francis, marks a great milestone in our church. As successor to Peter, our first pope, Pope Francis stands as the figure of unity for all Catholics wherever they reside.

The bishops of the United States and the people of our 195 dioceses offer prayers for our new leader and promise allegiance to him.  Intense prayer from all around the world surrounded the election of Pope Francis. 

The bishops of the United States thank God for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the inspired choice of the College of Cardinals.With joy in our hearts, we declare "Ad Multos Annos!" (For many years!)

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Copy of Pope Francis


Pope Francis Releases First Encyclical Letter July 5th

Pope Francis Cover image of the Encyclical Lumen Fidei - The Light of FaithPope Francis' first encyclical, which he has said is largely the work of retired Pope Benedict XVI, will be published July 5, 2013.

The Vatican announced July 1, 2013, that Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith) will be presented at a news conference featuring Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation of Bishops; Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; and Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.

An encyclical on faith was long expected as the last volume in Pope Benedict's trilogy on the three "theological virtues," following his encyclicals "Deus Caritas Est" (2005) on charity, and "Spe Salvi" (2007) on hope.

In June, Pope Francis told bishops meeting in Rome that his first encyclical would be largely the work of his predecessor.

"It's an encyclical written with four hands, so to speak, because Pope Benedict began writing it and he gave it to me," Pope Francis said. "It's a strong document. I will say in it that I received it and most of the work was done by him and I completed it."

— from Catholic News Service reports.

 Lumen FideiNews Release  |  Order 

Pope begins ministry with biblical symbols, signs of universal ministry

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Although attempts were made to simplify the ceremony, Pope Francis officially inaugurated his ministry as pope and bishop of Rome in a liturgy filled with biblical symbolism and signs of the universality of his mission.

But before the solemn rites began March 19, Pope Francis -- known for choosing public transport over chauffeur-driven limousines -- took his first spin in the popemobile, blessing the tens of thousands of people who arrived in St. Peter's Square as early as 4 a.m. to pray with him. He waved and, at one point, gave a thumbs up to the faithful. He also kissed three babies held up to him by the chief of Vatican security, Domenico Gianni, and other officers.

But he climbed out of the open jeep used as a popemobile to kiss a severely disabled man.  


Argentine Cardinal Bergoglio elected pope, takes name Francis

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76 was elected the 266th pope and took the name Francis.

The election March 13 came on the first full day of the conclave on the conclave's fifth ballot. It was a surprisingly quick conclusion to a conclave that began with many plausible candidates and no clear favorite.

The Latin American pope, a Jesuit, was chosen by at least two-thirds of the 115 cardinals from 48 countries, who cast their ballots in secret in the Sistine Chapel.

Order a digital photo of  Pope Francis and prayer cards for our new pope in English and Spanish

His election was announced in Latin from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, to a massive crowd in the square below and millions watching around the world.

White smoke poured from the Sistine Chapel chimney at 7:05 p.m., signaling that the cardinals had chosen a successor to retired Pope Benedict XVI. Two minutes later, the bells of St. Peter's Basilica began pealing continuously to confirm the election.


Pope Francis: Don't give in to pessimism, courageously share Gospel

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Never give in to the devil's pessimism, discouragement and bitterness, Pope Francis said; Christians need to share the Gospel message with joy and courage because it will truly answer people's deepest needs.

Young people also need the wisdom and knowledge of older people, whose insight is like "fine wine that gets better with age," he told the College of Cardinals March 15.

His remarks came during a meeting in the Clementine Hall in the apostolic palace with all the cardinals who were present in Rome, including the non-elector cardinals who were over the age of 80 and did not vote in the conclave.


Pope Francis starts first day with Marian prayer, bill paying

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis began his first full day as pope with an early morning act of Marian devotion  -- and by paying the bill at the clergy hotel where he had stayed before entering the conclave that elected him.

The new pope left the Domus Sanctae Marthae at 8 a.m. March 14 for a five-minute drive to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, where he prayed before an icon of Mary and the child Jesus beloved by Romans, the "Salus Populi Romani" (Protectress of the Roman People).


U.S. cardinals describe Pope Francis as ideal choice for modern times

By Carol Zimmermann
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Two U.S. cardinals described Pope Francis as an ideal choice to lead the church in the modern world.

"He is the perfect choice for this moment in the church," said Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl March 14.

New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told reporters March 13 that the pope met all of the cardinals' qualifications.

He said they wanted to "choose the right man" who would be "a man of God, a man of good pastoral governance, with a sense of the church universal and a good communicator."


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