City of Brass

The new Pope has been announced as (former) Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina. He has chosen the name Francis, the first to do so.

Congratulations to all the world’s billion Catholics, be they practicing, lapsed or anywhere in between. This is a time of joy for our Christian cousins and I hope it also marks a new era in relations between the people of the Muslim world and the Catholic Church as well.

Special congratulations are also in order to Catholics in South America, who have long been the major source of growth for the Catholic Church and now have seen one of their own elevated to the Papacy. This is a historic occasion indeed: the first non-European Pope in 1300 years. The last one was actually an Arab, Pope Sergius I (687-701).

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