BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Bishop Roger P. Morin of the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi released the following statement Wednesday on the election of Pope Francis:
"On this great day for the Universal Church, I, along with the priests, deacons, religious and laity of the Diocese of Biloxi, rejoice in the election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, S.J. to the Chair of St. Peter.
We congratulate Pope Francis I and offer our prayers, support, fidelity, and love, as he begins his ministry as the Successor to the Chair of St. Peter and the universal pastor of the Catholic Church.
We also express our deep gratitude to the members of the College of Cardinals who, through much prayerful deliberation, arrived at this momentous decision."
President Barack Obama released the following statement on His Holiness Pope Francis:
"On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I offer our warm wishes to His Holiness Pope Francis as he ascends to the Chair of Saint Peter and begins his papacy.
As a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us, he carries forth the message of love and compassion that has inspired the world for more than two thousand years—that in each other we see the face of God.
As the first pope from the Americas, his selection also speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is increasingly shaping our world, and alongside millions of Hispanic Americans, those of us in the United States share the joy of this historic day.
Just as I appreciated our work with Pope Benedict XVI, I look forward to working with His Holiness to advance peace, security and dignity for our fellow human beings, regardless of their faith.
We join with people around the world in offering our prayers for the Holy Father as he begins the sacred work of leading the Catholic Church in our modern world."