“On behalf of the priests, deacons, consecrated religious, and lay faithful in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, I offer prayerful best wishes to Pope Francis as he marks the 5th anniversary of his Petrine ministry. I’ve admired and respected his keen focus on service to the poor since we first met as young bishops delegated to the 1997 Special Assembly for the Americas.
The people of our local Church will always have a special bond with this pope and remember with great joy his presence here at the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families in 2015. His time with us was filled with powerful public moments and deeply grace filled intimate gatherings hallmarked by an overarching spirit of mercy, compassion, and charity. Those moments were special gifts that we can all use to build a stronger society and a stronger Church.
From a broader perspective, Pope Francis has consistently spoken in a style appealingly his own and has gained the attention of Catholics and non-Catholics alike. He’s grasped that our modern world is morally fractured and that it’s mission territory.
He’s repeatedly challenged us to bear witness to Christ through concrete action—by serving the poor, by helping immigrants, by preserving families, and by protecting the sanctity of life. It’s the kind of challenge we can and should answer with a hearty yes each day.
May God bless Pope Francis and may the Holy Spirit grant him wisdom as shepherd of the Universal Church.”
Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia