Election of new Pope brings great joy for NZ Catholic Church

New Zealand Catholic Bishops awoke this morning to the message ‘Habemus Papem’ we have a Pope and the presentation of newly elected Pope Francis with joy, and excitement.

“We’ve been prayerfully watching the Conclave and awaiting an announcement of a new Pope with hope and anticipation, as we take in the images half a world away, from Benedict’s farewell, to the closing of doors for the Conclave and now to this wonderful moment in history – Pope Francis giving his first Apostolic Blessing to all the people gathered in St Peter’s Square in Rome, said Archbishop John Dew, President of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference.

“It’s a wonderful time for our Church, we welcome the news that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio has said yes to this special ministry that is now entrusted to him, chosen prayerfully by the Cardinal Electors on behalf of the whole Church around the world, said Archbishop Dew.

“We believe that through prayer and reflection the Holy Spirit has guided the choice of a man for the time, that whatever his papacy holds he is the man chosen for it, he said.

“We pray that Pope Francis embraces this noble calling with a generous heart that he remains a faithful servant to God and the Church, he said.

“We joined Pope Francis as he lead us all around the world in praying for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the Our Father and Hail Mary thanking Benedict for his Papacy,

“Pope Francis will bring his Jesuit charism and philosophy to his Papacy, he said.

“The New Zealand Bishops will be sending an official message shortly to the Vatican to offer our prayers and support for him in his papacy,

“With modern communications and with a desire to show the world as much as possible, Vatican officials have allowed us to see through live streaming and videos many of the parts surrounding the Conclave we wouldn’t normally get to see, such as the Opening Mass, the setting up of the chimney, the room ready for the Cardinal Electors and the like,

“Voting appropriately took place in private which is important for the Cardinals to be free to quietly, prayerfully and without external pressure vote for the person they believe is being called to this special ministry, much like the democratic elections we as citizens are used to,

“The choice of the name Pope Francis could be seen as a sign of a sense of social justice and a desire to life a life of simplicity,

“It was a powerful moment of silence amid the atmosphere of elation as Pope Francis asked us to pray for him in his special ministry, before the Urbi et Orbi Blessing, for the city and the world – his first act as Pope.

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