BISHOP BLAIR COMMENTS ON NEW POPE
Pope Francis named today in Rome
Toledo, Ohio – March 13, 2013 – Upon hearing the news that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J. had been named the 266th Pope, Bishop Blair issued the following statement on Pope Francis:
“It is with great joy that we welcome the election of Pope Francis. In the days ahead, we will learn a great more about him, but more importantly, we will also get to know him, thanks to the means of communication that make it possible for a Pope to reach out personally to the world as a pastor of souls.
This is a banner day not only for the Universal Church, but also for the Church in Latin America, and Argentina in particular. As a worldwide family of faith, all Catholics can rejoice that the new Successor of St. Peter represents the great heritage and dynamic faith of the Church in Latin America.
As we celebrate and give thanks, we also need to pray for our new Pope. What Jesus said to St. Peter so long ago is still true: “Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brethren.” (Lk 22: 31-32). The task is great, but God’s grace is even greater.
And so I offer not only the congratulations but also the prayers of the clergy, religious and laity of the Diocese of Toledo to our new Holy Father, Pope Francis. May God grant him long life, health and strength for the road that lies before him.”
Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair
Bishop of Toledo