Portsmouth Bishop ‘delighted’ at appointment of new Pope

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THE Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth has given the new Pope his full support.

Pope Francis I, formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, has been elected the Catholic Church’s new leader.

Crowds in Rome’s St Peter’s Square cheered the Argentine tonight as he waved and asked them to pray for him.

Bishop Philip Egan, said: ‘On behalf of all the clergy and laity of the Diocese of Portsmouth, I am absolutely delighted to welcome our new Holy Father, Pope Francis l.

‘We are profoundly grateful to God for the gift of this great and holy man to the Church to lead us as 265th Successor of St. Peter. We pray for him and express to him our deep loyalty and fidelity.

‘May the Holy Spirit inspire him with all the spiritual gifts needed for the work of new evangelisation, and grant him the personal health and strength for the challenges ahead.

‘God bless our Pope!’

Pope Francis, 76, replaces Benedict XVI, who resigned last month at the age of 85.