ROCKFORD- Bishop David J. Malloy issued a statement upon learning of the election of Pope Francis I.
“It is with great joy and thanksgiving that I join all Catholics of the world in welcoming our new universal shepherd, Pope Francis I.
"The awesome responsibility entrusted to him and the 265 holy men before him truly affect all people of the world.
"Congratulations to the cardinals of the world who, in concert with the Holy Spirit, chose this new successor to St. Peter. Now, may that same Holy Spirit guide our Holy Father as he takes up the cross of his office and the concerns of the church in the world through his prayer, his action, his charity and in his love for Christ and all of us.”