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Leading Pro-Life Advocates Welcome, Encourage New Pope Francis

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 3/13/13 4:39 PM

International

Leading pro-life advocates are excited about the naming of a new Pope today, Pope Francis, who becomes the head of the Catholic Church, which has a longstanding regard for the dignity and worth of human life.

Cathodic Cardinals from across the globe selected the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, to become the next Pope, leading the Catholic Church.

He has excited pro-life advocates, who have noted he once called abortion the “Death Penalty for the Unborn.”

“Well, it happened!  As I wrote you a short time ago, I am here in Rome for some special meetings with members of the Vatican regarding our fight to end abortion,” writes Jerry Horn, a vice president for Priests for Life. “A short time ago – as you no doubt know by now! – it happened!  White smoke billowed from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel!”

Horn continued: “Before I left for Rome Father Frank took me aside and said: “Jerry, if you’re there when our new Holy Father is elected, I commission you to go to St. Peter’s and get his first blessing for our Priests for Life family.” With that task in mind, I rushed to St. Peter’s Square the moment the smoke was seen.  And together with tens of thousands of smiling, cheering, flag-waving, praying pilgrims I received Pope Francis’ first blessing and so did you.”

“We have a new Pope … and you were here with me in spirit to receive his very first blessing,” he added. “God love you!  God bless you!  Now let’s go forth and slay the abortion dragon!”

Bryan Kemper, Youth Outreach Director for Priests for Life, also was excited and told LifeNews, “I stand with Catholic youth around the world praying for Pope Francis, excited for his leadership and am committed to  continue to share the message of life that is so central to our Church.”

The National Right to Life Committee welcomed the election of Pope Francis to succeed Benedict XVI, who resigned the papacy February 28.

“National Right to Life welcomes the election of Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio as Pope Francis. As Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI before him, we look forward to Pope Francis furthering the cause of life around the world,” NRLC president Carol Tobias said.

Americans United for Life President Charmaine Yoest also chimed in on the exciting day. She said her group welcomes Pope Francis I on his election as the Bishop of Rome and said that the prayers and hopes of many “are extended to him as a world leader whom I have no doubt will be a passionate advocate for all people, born and unborn.”

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Yoest observed, “The pro-life movement owes a debt of gratitude to the Catholic Church for its leadership and on-going commitment to building a world in which everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law. Americans United for Life extends our sincere congratulations to our Catholic friends as they prepare to welcome Pope Francis I as their new leader.”

Father Shenan J. Boquet, president of Human Life International also welcomed the new pro-life Pope. In a statement LifeNews received, he said: “On behalf of the pro-life missionaries of Human Life International around the world, I extend congratulations to Pope Francis; as well as a promise of our prayers and fidelity. We were struck by his humility in such an august moment, especially when he asked all of us to ask the Lord to bless him before he imparted his first papal blessing upon the Church and the world. We will certainly continue praying for him, asking that the Lord grant him peace and wisdom, strength and courage, and give him every grace necessary to guide the Church during this time.”