Archbishop Alexander Sample released a statement on the election of Pope Francis:
“I am overjoyed and filled with hope as we welcome Pope Francis as our new Holy Father and Shepherd of the universal Church. I pledge my fidelity to the Successor of St. Peter, and I promise my prayers for him as he beings this awesome and heavy responsibility as the spiritual leader of over 1.2 billion Catholics throughout the world.
“It is exciting to have a Holy Father who comes to use from our own hemisphere here in the Americas. It should be very interesting to see what perspective a Pope from South America will bring to the ministry of the papacy.
“I encourage all of the Catholic faithful to open their hearts to our new Holy Father and to pray for him as he has so humbly asked us to do.”