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Statement by An Taoiseach on the election of Pope Francis

4th March 2013 - Fine Gael Press Office

On behalf of the Government and the people of Ireland, I offer warm congratulations to Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio on his election as Pope Francis.

He has the best wishes of all Irish people, of all traditions, as he undertakes the immense responsibility of his pontificate.

We pray that he will have the strength, the good health and the spiritual guidance needed to lead the Catholic Church in the many challenges it faces.

The scenes of celebration in St Peters Square are a reflection of the great hopes and best wishes of people of the Catholic faith all around the world have for the new Pope.

The decision of the Conclave in choosing the first Pope from the Americas is of particular significance as a symbolic expression of the global nature of the Catholic Church and of the 21st century world.

The people of Ireland also send our congratulations to the people of Argentina, a country with which Ireland shares many historic bonds, on this occasion of great honour and pride for their nation.

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