March 13th, 2013
04:27 PM ET
1 year ago

Obama: Pope selection speaks to 'strength and vitality' of South America

(CNN) - President Barack Obama released the following statement on the selection of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina to become the next pope:

On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I offer our warm wishes to His Holiness Pope Francis as he ascends to the Chair of Saint Peter and begins his papacy. As a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us, he carries forth the message of love and compassion that has inspired the world for more than two thousand years-that in each other we see the face of God. As the first pope from the Americas, his selection also speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is increasingly shaping our world, and alongside millions of Hispanic Americans, those of us in the United States share the joy of this historic day. Just as I appreciated our work with Pope Benedict XVI, I look forward to working with His Holiness to advance peace, security and dignity for our fellow human beings, regardless of their faith. We join with people around the world in offering our prayers for the Holy Father as he begins the sacred work of leading the Catholic Church in our modern world.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    So even the church is doing hispanic outreach?

    Haha...I kid, I kid....

    March 13, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    Kind of reminds me of when they picked a Polish Pope, which helped bring down the Iron Curtain. Picking a South American Pope shows solidarity with Hispanics.

    March 13, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Next up, GOP/Teatrolls messaging as follows:

    "Hey, all you hispanics...look at the birght new shiny Hispanipope over there....he says you should support our anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-equality, "family values" line of malarkey...so vote for us, comprende?"

    March 13, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    When do we get to dive into his support of a dictatorial regime? Too soon?

    Or hey...regarding gays: "Let's not be naive, we're not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God"....and claiming that adoption by gay couples is a form of discrimination against the children.

    Yeah, this guy is gonna be a bundle of fun.

    March 13, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. pat cala

    The Church did Hispanis outreach hundreds of years ago. Argentina is almost 100% Catholic. Of the worlds Catholics they comprise 40%. I am pleased with the selection of Pope Francis I.

    March 13, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "Picking a South American Pope shows solidarity with Hispanics."

    Except, from what I'm being told, people in Argentina don't like to be called hispanic, consider themselves european, talk down at the rest of South America and the greater likelihood is that this guy is just a displaced euro-caucasian, i.e., just another old white man.

    March 13, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    But I digress....Yaaaaaaay! Peace on Earth (unless we've decreed you a satanic sinner)!!!!

    March 13, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  8. freedom

    It speaks to and from the Holy Spirit. Can't make this one political, but of course, this president tries to.

    March 13, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  9. Hispanics?

    Sniffit you've been told wrong. They do not consider themselves Hispanic because they do not speak the Spanish from South America. They are Europeans Immigrants but consider themselves Latinos because they were born in Latin America. Brazilians do not call themselves Hispanics either, they don't speak Spanish, they speak Portuguese.

    March 13, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  10. TG

    @pat cala

    There is not 40% of the worlds Catholics in Argentina. That would be just about half a billion people. There are 1.2 billion Catholics in the world.

    March 13, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  11. James

    I doubt that Obama even knows where SA is located–I would appreciate no comment regarding our new Pope from Obama either–They would just be ingenuous anyway–

    March 13, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  12. Larry L

    @pat cala

    The Church did Hispanis outreach hundreds of years ago.
    ===============================
    Their "outreach" to the indigenous peoples of the Americas was priceless... Those they didn't enslave they killed. Between the disease and the "godly" slaughter the Holy Roman Catholic Church made a real mark on the Western Hemisphere. The torture and ruthless explotation of the existing civilizations was a particularly memorable form of "outreach".

    March 13, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  13. MrNeedtoKnow

    Everyone in USA should unite as one for the common goal of of country and not viewing citizens as political parties. This is why we are in a big mess because we can't just unite as one.

    March 13, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  14. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    Yes, they do speak the same Spanish, different accent. I know first hand, I am a native speaker of Spanish as well as a teacher. Affectations aside, the language spoken in all the Spanish speaking countries is mutually intelligible. Of course, there are different accents and regionalisms. I know this form experience, I have never failed failed to communicate at all levels in Spanish in any of those countries. Some of them look down on our colorful Caribbean world. It happens. The Lunfardo dialect is another story.

    March 13, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain: We don't have a spending problem; we have a Republican problem.

    "Except, from what I'm being told, people in Argentina don't like to be called hispanic, consider themselves european, talk down at the rest of South America and the greater likelihood is that this guy is just a displaced euro-caucasian, i.e., just another old white man."

    You could be right. I'm no fan of the Catholic Church, but I do like those clergy who are active for social justice (Sister Simone Campbell of Nuns on the Bus comes to mind). The new Pope is a Jesuit, which can be a positive. I don't like his conservative views on gays, etc. ... it's going to take a looooong time for the Catholic Church to catch up, no doubt about it.

    I didn't realize he is from Argentina ... hmmmm .... very conservative place, lots of former Nazis landed there ... then there's Pinochet and the new pope's support of his dirty war ... I'm liking this guy less and less ...

    March 13, 2013 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  16. ThinkAgain: We don't have a spending problem; we have a Republican problem.

    @freedom: "It speaks to and from the Holy Spirit. "

    You do realize, don't you, that born-again Christians think Catholics are not Christian and the Pope is the devil – right?

    March 13, 2013 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |