Cape Town, South Africa - South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Thursday welcomed the appointment of Pope Francis (Bergoglio) of Argentina as the 266th Pontiff of the Catholic church, succeeding Pope Benedict XVI.
The ANC said in a statement here it believes that the Catholic church as the biggest church in the world has enormous responsibility in the development of society as it applies to all churches and religious formations.
“We believe that the new Pope, like his predecessors, will endeavor to promote societal peace and morality within the context of accepted norms by the peoples of the world. We congratulate the South African Catholic community for being part of this process which resulted in a successful papal conclave,” said ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu.
Also, Archbishop of Pretoria William Slattery has expressed gratitude at the appointment.
Slattery, who is spokesperson of the Southern African Catholic Bishop's Conference, said the organisation pledged its support to the newly-elected Holy Father and assured him of its prayers as well as the support and prayers of Catholics in the region.
“We ask all Catholics and people of goodwill to remember Pope Francis as he begins his pontificate. As shepherd of the universal Church, he faces many overwhelming challenges. With God's grace and our prayers he will faithfully and ably lead the Church at this important moment in history, ensuring that the Good News of Jesus Christ, and the hope and salvation he offers, is continually preached to the world,” Slattery said.