His Holiness Pope Francis. Photo: Intermirifica.net©

It is the dream of every Ambassador to the Holy See to be in post for a Conclave. No one with a sense of history or occasion can possibly be disappointed by the event. There can be no election in the world that is held under conditions of such intense media scrutiny, and yet also in great secrecy amongst such a particular electorate.

The news of the first ever Pope from the Americas has delighted the world. It sends a strong message about the universality of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Holy See. The Prime Minister has welcomed the election on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government.

Pope Francis is known for his personal concern for social justice. His choice of name, recalling St Francis of Assisi, points to this being at the top of his preoccupations, as does his record as Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Ensuring the right conditions to improve the lives of the poor, the marginalised and the outcast is one of international development priorities for the British government, and for our G8 Presidency underway.

Congratulations Your Holiness, from the British Embassy to the Holy See! The United Kingdom looks forward to working closely with Pope Francis and the global HolySee network in the months and years ahead.

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