Catholic bishops welcome new Pope
New Delhi, March 14 : Welcoming the appointment of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina as the 266th Pope, the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) Thursday said the church here pledges total loyalty and allegiance to the new Pope.
"We are pleased to express our joy and happiness in the election of the new pontiff, Pope Francis I. The church in India pledges loyalty and allegiance to the new Pope," the CBCI said in a statement.
The 76-year-old is the first Latin American and Jesuit to be pontiff. He will call himself Francis I.
"We join the millions of Catholics in the world and wish the new Pope, who as the successor of St Peter, will continue to guide and strengthen for good the Catholic Church," the statement said.
"We are happy that five of our CBCI cardinals also took part in this conclave," the statement added.
Pope Francis I replaces Benedict XVI, who resigned as Pope Feb 28 at the age of 85, saying he was not strong enough to lead the Church.