USCCB President Congratulates, Offers Prayers To Pope Francis On The Inauguration Of His Pontificate

March 19, 2013 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—CardinalTimothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops(USCCB), congratulated Pope Francis on the occasion of the Inauguration Massfor his pontificate. He expressed the support and fidelity of the U.S. bishops,on behalf of more than 70 million Catholics throughout the 195 dioceses andeparchies in the country.

"Since your election asRoman Pontiff on March 13, the Church in our country has felt a renewed senseof unity, hope and love of Jesus Christ and His Church. Your messages of mercyand forgiveness spur us on to continue the faithful work of the newevangelization in our country and our world," Cardinal Dolan said.

The inauguration Masstook place this morning, March 19, in St. Peter's Square in Rome. "Theinauguration of your Petrine ministry, occurring as it does on the Feast of St.Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, inspires us with the profound awarenessthat we stand as one before God and before the world united with you as ourbeloved Shepherd," Cardinal Dolan said.

He also noted thehistorical importance of the election of a bishop from the Americas to the Seeof Peter; and reaffirmed his prayers for strength and wisdom as Pope Francisbegins his ministry to the Church as the Vicar of Christ.

The full text of the cardinal'sletter follows:

LETTER OFCARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN ON THE INAUGURATION OF PONTIFICATE OF POPE FRANCIS

MARCH 19, 2013

FEAST OF SAINTJOSEPH

Most HolyFather,

On thejoyful occasion of the Mass to inaugurate your ministry as Bishop of Rome, Iwish to convey to you the deep affection, prayerful support and sincere pledgeof fidelity of the Bishops of the United States of America and the more than 70million Catholic faithful throughout the 195 dioceses and eparchies across ournation.

Sinceyour election as Roman Pontiff on March 13, the Church in our country has felta renewed sense of unity, hope and love of Jesus Christ and His Church. Yourmessages of mercy and forgiveness spur us on to continue the faithful work ofthe new evangelization in our country and our world. The inauguration ofyour Petrine ministry, occurring as it does on the Feast of St. Joseph, Patronof the Universal Church, inspires us with the profound awareness that we standas one before God and before the world united with you as our beloved Shepherd.

Theelection to the See of Peter of a bishop from the Americas fills us withspecial happiness as we sense a special bond and closeness with you. We prayfor you, Holy Father, for strength, wisdom and much joy as you begin your ministryto the Church as the Vicar of Christ and the Successor of Saint Peter.

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Keywords:Vatican, Holy See, Pope Francis, Inauguration of the Petrine Ministry,Installation Mass, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops,USCCB, U.S. bishops, Inauguration of Pontificate, Vicar of Christ, St. Peter'sBasilica

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MEDIA CONTACTONLY:Norma Montenegro-FlynnO: 202-541-3202Email