Washington, DC, March 14, 2013 – Bread for the World is encouraged that the Catholic Church has chosen Pope Francis I as its new leader. Bread president, Rev. David Beckmann, released this statement today:
“It is a major accomplishment for hungry and poor people that a Jesuit choosing to be named after St. Francis of Assisi is named the new pontiff of the Catholic Church. The pope is not only the head of the Catholic Church, but a powerful world leader. We pray Pope Francis’s new position will shed a new light on the needs of the poor and help emphasize the importance of ending global poverty.
“Millions of people in the United States and abroad continue to live in extreme poverty. This selection comes at a crucial time, as U.S. lawmakers debate significant cuts to programs that support hungry and poor people in this country and around the world.
“Given the vow of poverty that Jesuits take, as well as Pope Francis’s demonstrated commitment to the poor, his selection sends a powerful message to the world that vulnerable people should be protected from further injustice.”
Born Jorge Mario Bergolio, Pope Francis I is formerly the archbishop of Buenos Aires. He is the first in 266 pontiffs to come from Latin America and the first Jesuit. He selected his papal name after St. Francis of Assisi, signaling a dedication to poverty, humility, simplicity, and rebuilding the Catholic Church.
Bread for the World (www.bread.org) is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.