On The Election of New Pope Francis
On March 13 2013, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected as the 266th Pope to lead the Catholic Church in the world.
He chose the pontifical name Francis.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council (1962－1965), the Catholic Church has been striving to live in the spirit of the Council following the intention of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who declared that the Year of Faith would be celebrated for one year starting last October. The Council took up the themes of the modernization of the Church, solidarity with suffering people in the world, and respect for and dialogue with other religions and other Christian denominations. Moreover, it declared that the Church must always be converted and renewed, stating, “the Church, embracing in its bosom sinners, at the same time holy and always in need of being purified, always follows the way of penance and renewal” and by stating (Lumen gentium 8). We must make every effort first of all to renew the Church with Pope Francis.
We acknowledge that the Catholic Church must deal with various issues in the modern world: For example, rectifying growing economic disparities; protecting the human rights of the poor, children, refugees and women; respecting life from conception to natural death; being committed to the realization of justice, peace, and the protection of human rights amid wars or conflicts in various regions; securing the freedom of religions and interreligious dialogue; abolishing religious violence; solving issues of energy such as nuclear power generation and contributing to the protection of the environment; responding to the health needs of those who cannot afford medical care; and serving migrants. We, as the Catholic Church, will address these issues at home and abroad in cooperation with the United Nations, all countries, international organizations and people of good will. I am confident that Pope Francis will guide, support and help our activities as a wise and powerful pastor of the whole Church.
We would like to express our sincere appreciation for your kind consideration while Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was in office, and for your close attention to the Church after his announcement of resignation and during the election of a new pope. We sincerely hope for your continued support.
I pray that God will bless each of you abundantly.
March 14, 2013
President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan
Leo Jun Ikenaga, S.J., Archbishop of Osaka
|December 17, 1936 1958
|Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina (76 years old now)
Entered the Society of Jesus
Appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires
Appointed Archbishop of Buenos Aires
Proclaimed Cardinal by Blessed Pope John Paul II