"On behalf of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, I would like to express my sincere congratulations to the new head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis. I wish him a long-lasting and blessed Pontificate. I am convinced that Pope Francis will be an active, wise and beloved leader of the 1.2 billion Catholics throughout the world", said the Chairman of the EPP Group commenting on the election of His Holiness Pope Francis.
"I am sure that Pope Francis will make extraordinary efforts to promote our common European values, like the respect of human dignity and fundamental rights and solidarity between nations and peoples.
This is an historical election as it is the first time we have had a Latin American and Jesuit Pope, guiding the hundreds of millions of Catholics throughout the world. As the first Latin American Pope ever in history, this raises special expectations for him to pay unique attention to the challenges of the emerging world, such as poverty and social problems.
The world is rapidly changing, which affects every nation, every religion and beliefs. The Catholic Church is not an exception under this process. I wish strength, stamina, wisdom and good health to Pope Francis to lead the Catholic Church in this rapidly-changing historical era. The whole world, not only Catholics, is counting on his service", said Joseph Daul.