PARRAMATTA Diocese Bishop Anthony Fisher has welcomed the election of Pope Francis as Bishop of Rome and Universal Pastor of the Catholic Church.
The diocese includes much of western Sydney including suburbs in the Hills, Blacktown, Parramatta, St Marys and Penrith areas.
“Habemus papam - we have a Pope! The Catholic Diocese of Parramatta cheers with the rest of humanity at the happy news,” the Bishop said.
Pope Francis, formerly Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, is the first Jesuit Pope.
He is also the first Pope to come from Latin America.
“He is a deeply spiritual man who is highly respected as a theologian and an intellectual,’’ Bishop Fisher said.
‘‘He is a humble man and a great defender of the poor.
‘‘In his first words as Pope, Pope Francis spoke of building fraternity, love and trust.
“In July this year, I will lead a group of 250 young people from the Diocese of Parramatta to Rio de Janeiro where we will meet Pope Francis at World Youth Day.
‘‘More than 2 million people were already expected to participate and, with a new Pope from Latin America, I am sure many millions more will be coming.’’