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Max, Kamla send congratulations to Pope
Outgoing President George Maxwell Richards and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday sent letters of congratulations to the new Roman Catholic Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis. “It is my great honour, on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of T&T, to extend warmest congratulations to you on your recent election as the Vicar of Rome. This milestone is a source of immense joy for all developing countries, particularly those in the western hemisphere,” Richards wrote.
The selection of Pope Francis, the first Latin American and Argentine Pope in history, occurred on Wednesday as thousands of supporters waited outside of St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. “Your wide, rich experience in service will undoubtedly inspire your leadership of all Catholics, including here in T&T, as our states collectively seek to improve the well-being of peoples throughout the world,” Richards said. “Roman Catholicism has made a significant contribution to the development of our twin-island Republic and we look forward to strengthening our ties with the Vatican and the continuing invaluable collaboration with the church on social issues.”
Richards said the country joined others around the globe in prayers for the new pope’s health, success and an abundance of God’s blessings. Persad-Bissessar wrote: “It is with great pleasure that I extend congratulations to you and the Roman Catholic community on the assumption of the 266th pontiff of Rome.” She said there was no doubt that the spiritual aspect of a person’s life was crucial to balanced living and the well-being of the individual, and added that she was gratified that a Holy Father had been chosen in a timely manner.
“It is indeed significant that the new Pope Francis comes from Latin America as it is the first time in over 1,000 years that a non-European pope has been chosen,” the PM wrote. “The Caribbean and Latin America share close historical and cultural ties and the appointment of Pope Francis is a significant achievement for the Roman Catholic community throughout the Caribbean and South America.” Pope Francis, 76, replaces Pope Benedict XVI, 86.
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