STATEN ISLAND, NY -- Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement on the selection of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis.
“Priests for Life is delighted at the selection of Pope Francis and we are assured that the sanctity of all human life will be a top priority for this Pope, as it has been for his predecessors. We look forward to working under the leadership of the new Pope to advance the Culture of Life."
Leaders of ministries and outreaches under the Priests for Life umbrella also had words of praise for the new Pope.
Father Victor Salomon, Director of Hispanic Outreach for Priests for Life, said the election of Cardinal Bergoglio and his choice of the name Francis represents “a new wind of the Holy Spirit.”
“Pope Francis is an intellectual but he is also a very humble man,” Father Salomon said. “And he is passionately pro-life. In the cathedral in Buenos Aires, he offered blessings to expectant mothers. And on Holy Thursday one year, he washed the feet of a pregnant woman. He is aware of the need for there to be a renewal inside the Church on the issue of abortion.”
Bryan Kemper, Youth Outreach Director for Priests for Life, also expressed his excitement about the new Pope.
"I stand with Catholic youth around the world praying for Pope Francis,” Kemper said. “I am excited for his leadership and committed to continuing to share the message of life that is so central to our Church."
Marie Smith, director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues, said:
“The inspired selection of Pope Francis is most welcome and exciting news as we face increasing pressure in Latin America from radical forces intent on destroying the culture of life. Responses from contacts in Argentina comment on the new Pope’s simplicity of style, attention to his role as pastor and focus on the social issues that challenge the region and the world today. We look forward to his leadership of the Church.”
Priests for Life is the nation's largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.