HOUSTON -- Auxiliary Bishop George Sheltz, Archbishop Fiorenza and Bishop Rizzotto from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston released the following statements on Wednesday on the election of Pope Francis I.

Auxiliary Bishop George A. Sheltz:

This past Tuesday, Cardinal DiNardo asked the people of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston to pray for the Church, the Cardinals, especially himself, and for the new Pope. Since then, we have been praying to God the He would send His Holy Spirit upon all involved in the election of our new Pope. Today our prayers have been answered. We now have a new Pope, Francis. We congratulate him and pledge our unending support to him. May God Bless our new Holy Father.

Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza:

The Catholic world rejoices that the Chair of Peter is no longer empty. The Cardinal-electors have chosen Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the 266th Successor of Peter and the Bishop of Rome. I offer Pope Francis my fidelity and obedient love as the Chief Shepherd of the Universal Catholic Church and my daily prayers that he will confirm our faith in Jesus Christ and lead us in holiness and to fullness in charity to all and be a voice for world peace.

Retired Bishop Vincent M. Rizzotto:

Tomorrow morning and this afternoon at Mass, we will pray for charity for the Chair of Peter and we will pray for Francis, our Pope, and Daniel, our bishop. And so, therefore, this is a historic moment in our lives and a moment to be cherished and remembered.

What impresses me strongly about the choice of the cardinals to elect Cardinal Brogolio to be Pope is the simplicity of lifestyle that he lives, that he will bring that to the Chair of St. Peter and to the Church. We look forward to great things and exciting moments in the future.

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