WASHINGTON (CNS) — Here are excerpts of statements by U.S.-based leaders of non-Christian faiths about the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, as the new Pope Francis.
— Muzammil H. Siddiqi, religious director, Islamic Society of Orange County (Calif.), and chairman, Islamic Shura Council of Southern California: “Please convey my best wishes on my personal behalf and on behalf of the Muslim community of Southern California on the election of new Pope Francis. We wish him all the best. We hope and pray that he will continue building bridges of understanding among Catholics and Muslims and among the people of all faiths.”
— Satpal Singh, chairperson, World Sikh Council-America Region: “Our prayerful felicitations to the new pope and to the Catholic world. We hold His Holiness Pope Francis in prayers and look forward to his stewardship of the Catholic Church, and to his contribution to the world towards a path of ‘love and fraternity’ as he put it.”
— Rabbi Eric J. Greenberg, director, Department of Interfaith Affairs, Anti-Defamation League: “We look forward to working with him to continue to foster Catholic-Jewish relations as we have with his predecessors. There is much in his record that reassures us about the future. Under his leadership in Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio made important strides in maintaining positive Catholic-Jewish relations following the transformational papacies of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI — pontiffs who launched historic reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people.”
— Anuttama Dasa, vice chair of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness: “In these days of religious conflict in far too many places, we reach out to the church, and to Pope Francis, with open hearts, friendship and a desire to live and work together as fellow servants of God. We pray for Pope Francis’ long life and strong health. We pray that his papacy will be a time of rekindled faith and cooperation among all people of faith throughout the world.”