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EU congratulates new Pope.

| BRUSSELS, March 13 (KUNA) -- EU President Herman Van Rompuy and the President of the European Commission Joe Manuel Barroso Wednesday conveyed their sincere congratulations to Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina on his election as the new Pope today.

"We wish you a long and blessed Pontificate, which will allow your Holiness and the Catholic Church to defend and promote the fundamental values of peace, solidarity and human dignity. They are essential sign posts in a world facing numerous challenges and undergoing deep change," said the EU statement.

"We are convinced that your Holiness will continue to further with determination and strength the work of your predecessors by bringing the world's people and religions closer together," it added.

On his part, European Parliament President Martin Schulz in a separate statement said "The Pontiff has an opportunity for renewal at a time when the Roman Catholic Church faces numerous and momentous challenges".

"The Pope offers guidance, inspiration and hope to hundreds of millions of believers across the world. The choice of a Pope from outside Europe is an encouraging sign," he said.

Schulz noted that "a new impetus is necessary to revive the fundamental values which are at the basis of Christianity such as solidarity, peace among nations and peoples, tolerance and support for the weakest and the poorest".

"These values are needed more than ever in a world which risks being engulfed in a spiral of materialism and inequality," he stressed. (end) nk.mt KUNA 140027 Mar 13NNNN

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Publication:Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
Date:Mar 14, 2013
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