CIDSE, an international alliance of Catholic development agencies, greeted the news of the first pope from South America, and thus from the Global South. Pope Francis, previously Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ, Cardinal and Archbishop of Buenos Aires will serve as head of the Catholic Church.
Bernd Nilles, Secretary General of CIDSE, said in a short statement on the eve of the papal election:
“As a Catholic lay-led alliance committed to sustainable development, global justice and human dignity, we hope Pope Francis will bring the Church new perspective on the challenges humanity faces. Respect for nature, justice and the option for the poor are important values in Catholic teaching which could receive high attention by the new Holy Father, who has chosen Francis as his papal name. Humility, respect for all of creation, and even a certain asceticism are all positive messages for the Church and the World of today.”
The new Pope has emphasised the importance of spirituality throughout his ministry, and has adopted a very modest personal lifestyle – including travelling by public transport. He has voiced support for the poor, as well as publicly challenged neoliberal free-market policies. He further belongs to the Jesuit order who has worldwide a strong commitment to social justice. As Archbishop of Buenos Aires he is well aware of the reality of poor communities and social injustice.
CIDSE President and Director of CAFOD (England and Wales) Chris Bain also warmly welcomed the election of Pope Francis: “To have a Pope from Argentina, from Latin America, is a momentous decision. This is a time of great joy for Catholics around the world – demonstrating that we are a universal church, one that is understanding of the fact that most of the church lives outside Europe and North America. This choice of Pope puts service to the poor and tackling injustice at the forefront of the Church’s mission in the world. Pope Francis brings with him great hope.”
CIDSE will continue to work for global justice guided by Catholic teaching, and looks forward to this new Pontificate. Already in May a CIDSE delegation will visit the Roman Curia of the Vatican.
For all media enquiries please contact CIDSE via Markus Drake, email@example.com, +32 (0)2 2824073
Notes to the editors
- CIDSE is an international alliance of Catholic development agencies. Its members share a common strategy in their efforts to eradicate poverty and establish global justice. www.cidse.org
CIDSE members: Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), CAFOD (England and Wales), CCFD – Terre Solidaire (France), Center of Concern (USA), Cordaid (the Netherlands), Development & Peace (Canada), Entraide et Fraternité (Belgium), eRko (Slovakia), Fastenopfer (Switzerland), FEC (Portugal), FOCSIV (Italy), Fondation Bridderlech Deelen (Luxembourg), KOO (Austria), Manos Unidas (Spain), MISEREOR (Germany), SCIAF (Scotland), Trócaire (Ireland)