Our Ecumenical And Interreligious Friends Congratulate Pope Francis

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The Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs received many notes of support for Pope Francis from our friends - fellow Christians and interreligious dialogue partners of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. We include their messages and links to the full texts, where possible, below.


"We congratulate Pope Francis ...There is much in his record that reassures us about the future. Cardinal Bergoglio maintained a close relationship with the Jewish community in Argentina.  He celebrated various Jewish holidays with the Argentinian Jewish community, including Chanukah where he lit a candle on the menorah, attended a Buenos Aires synagogue for Slichot, a pre-Rosh Hashana service, the Jewish New Year, as well as a commemoration of Kristallnacht, the wave of violent Nazi attacks against Jews before World War II. He expressed strong solidarity with Argentina’s Jewish community following the deadly 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center. "
Rabbi Abraham H. Foxman 
National Director Anti-Defamation League

"Mazal Tov and my sincerest congratulations on the election of His Holiness Pope Francis! I am optimistic that Pope Francis will be as good a friend to the Jewish community world-wide as he has been to the Jews of Argentina – and as you have with the Jewish community in America."

Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky 
Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue Jewish Theological Seminary



"Our prayerful felicitations to the new Pope and to the Catholic world. We hold His Holiness Pope Francis in prayers and look forward to his stewardship of the Catholic Church, and to his contribution to the world towards a path of 'love and fraternity' as he puts it. The World Sikh Council - American Region looks forward to a continuing friendship and dialogue with our Catholic brothers and sisters."
Dr. Satpal Singh 
Chairperson  of the World SIkh Council - America Region

"We wish him all the best. We hope and pray that he will continue building bridges of understanding among Catholics and Muslims and among the people of all faiths." 
Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi 
Chairman of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California
"In these days of religious conflict in far too many places, we reach out to the Church, and to Pope Francis, with open hearts, friendship and a desire to live and work together as fellow servants of God. We pray for Pope Francis' long life and strong health. We pray that his papacy will be a time of rekindled faith and cooperation among all people of faith throughout the world. And, we pray that the Church, under his direction, will continue on the path of dialogue and building coalitions among all those who humbly seek God's mercy and shelter as the ultimate goal of life."
Anuttama Dasa 
Vice Chair of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)


"I rejoice with you and all my Catholic brothers and sisters on the election of a new pope! Prayers ascending for him and for the work of our churches in witnessing to what it means to be the body of Christ." 
Pastor Susan Beck
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

"I am very happy at the name Cardinal Bergoglio chose: that of Saint Francis. This name signifies a desire for service and compassion that even President Obama recognized, when he congratulated the new pope as a 'champion of the poor.' Yet as important as Cardinal Bergoglio's heart for the downtrodden may be, much more important is his new task of steering the Catholic Church back to the original teachings of Jesus ... He will certainly be in my prayers." 

Johann Christoph Arnold
Senior Minister of the Bruderhof Community


"Dear Pope Francis, We received the news of your election this evening with joy...We are touched by your humility. The name you have chosen is a sign for us that attention to the plight of the poor and justice for all people will be important for you...We would like to see your Papal tenure as an era of commitment to furthering how our churches live out the gift of Christian unity that we have received from the Lord."

Setri Nyomi
General Secretary of the World Communion of Reformed Churches

"I look forward to meeting Pope Francis, and to walking and working together to build on the consistent legacy of our predecessors. May the love of Christ unite us, and intensify our service in a genuine and fruitful ecumenism that can be a blessing for the Body of Christ throughout the world. Pope Francis is well known as a compassionate pastor of real stature who has served the poor in Latin America, and whose simplicity and holiness of life is remarkable. He is an evangelist, sharing the love of Christ which he himself knows."
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby