Published On: Thu, Mar 14th, 2013

Leaders Praise Break From Tradition as Argentine Picked as Pope

Newly elected Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina appears on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the VaticanWorld leaders from Panama City to Washington to Vilnius praised the selection of the first non- European pope in more than 12 centuries, calling the break from tradition a sign the church listened to calls to modernize.

Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, chose the name of Pope Francis for his pontificate and was greeted by thousands of cheering faithful as he stepped out on a balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square. Reaction spread on Twitter, Facebook, e-mails and the airwaves.

His selection “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,” President Barack Obama said in a statement in Washington.

Obama received word that a new pope had been selected during a meeting with Republicans including U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, a Catholic. “Reaching out beyond the traditional continent of our church is another big step in the right direction for the church,” Boehner told reporters.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement that the UN and the religious leader “share many common goals — from the promotion of peace, social justice and human rights, to the eradication of poverty and hunger — all core elements of sustainable development.”

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Source: Bloomberg

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