Pope Francis I

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis, the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, delivered his first blessing and message to Rome and the world about an hour after his election as successor of Pope Benedict.

Here is a transcript of his first words as pope as translated by Reuters from the Italian.

“Brothers and sisters, good evening.”

“You know that the duty of the conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the world to get him. But here we are.

“I thank you for this welcome by the diocesan community of Rome to its bishop. Thank you.

“First of all, I would like to say a prayer for our bishop emeritus, Benedict XVI. Let us all pray together for him, let us all pray together for him so that the Lord may bless him and that the Madonna may protect him.”

(The new pope then prayed the “Lord’s Prayer”, the “Hail Mary” and the “Glory Be” with the crowd in Italian).

He then continued:

“And now, let us start this journey, bishop and people, bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which leads all the Churches in charity, a journey of fraternity, of love, of trust among us.

“Let us always pray for us, one for the other, let us pray for the whole world, so that there may be a great fraternity. I hope that this journey of the Church that we begin today and which my cardinal vicar, who is here with me, will help me with, may be fruitful for the evangelization of this beautiful city.

“Now, I would like to give you a blessing, but first I want to ask you for a favor. Before the bishop blesses the people, I ask that you pray to the Lord so that he blesses me. This is the prayer of the people who are asking for the blessing of their bishop.

“In silence, let us say this prayer of you for me.”

(After a few seconds of silent prayer, he then delivered his blessing).

He then concluded:

“Now, I will give you and the whole world a blessing, to all men and women of good will. Tomorrow I want to go to pray to the Madonna so that she protects all of Rome. Good night and have a good rest.”

(Reporting By Philip Pullella; editing by Crispian Balmer)

The coat of arms of Pope Francis borrows much from his former episcopal emblem. On the blue shield is the symbol of the Society of Jesus. Below it is a five-pointed star and the buds of a spikenard flower, which represent respectively Mary and St. Joseph . The papal motto is the Latin phrase “Miserando atque eligendo,” which means “because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him” or more simply, “having mercy, he called him.” The phrase comes from a homily by St. Bede.

Episcopal Adviser of Spiritual Motherhood of Priests
(Bishop Scott McCaig - Roman Catholic Military Ordinariate of Canada)

If you have ever been to an ordination of a bishop you know that it is a celebration like no other. There are smells and bells. The music is heavenly. The sights are majestic. We pour oil over the bishop-elect’s head. We even hold a book of the Gospels over his head. The applause and cheering is deafening. There is truly nothing else like it.

Last night was no different! Bishop-elect Scott became Bishop Scott. Thank God, that whole bishop-elect thing is a bit of a tongue twister. We watched our brother, mentor, leader, and friend become a bishop. Archbishop Luigi put it so wonderfully,

“We have Bishop Scott. Before we had Fr. Scott. Now we have Bishop Scott and it is not just a change of name, but it is a profound transformation.”

Last night was a celebration of that transformation. However, we celebrate so much more than Fr. Scott becoming Bishop Scott.

We celebrate the awesome love of Christ and how it transformed an atheistic ski bum from British Columbia into a Bishop in the Roman Catholic Church. How does that even happen?

Last night as I looked on, I was struck with just how awesome the love of Christ is. How he takes us in our brokenness and makes us new again. His love is so powerful that it transforms us. It changes us. It makes us new. That love changed Bishop Scott McCaig’s life and it has changed the world!

Truly Jesus’ personal invitation to Bishop Scott many years ago to ‘come and follow me’ was what we celebrated last night. Fr. Scott McCaig, CC becoming Bishop Scott McCaig, CC is a step for him on the road to the heavenly banquet.

Praised be Jesus for working in this man’s life so powerfully! Praised be Christ for his profound sacrifice on the cross so that we could be reunited with our heavenly Father.

The Most Reverend Archbishop Marcel Damphousse
(Diocese of Ottawa-Cornwall)

Born on March 19, 1963, in Saint Joseph, Manitoba, Archbishop Marcel Damphousse was ordained a priest on June 28th, 1991 for the Archdiocese of Saint Boniface. He served in a number of French and English parishes throughout the Archdiocese before being appointed Rector of the Cathedral in 2008. The Bishop earned a Bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1984 at the University College of Saint-Boniface, followed by a Bachelor’s degree in theology in 1989 from Saint Paul University, Ottawa.

He received his formation for the priesthood at Saint Paul’s Seminary, Ottawa. In 2002, he earned a licentiate in spiritual theology from the Teresianum in Rome.

For a number of years, Archbishop Damphousse taught at the Manitoba Catholic School of Evangelization, and was vocations director for more than 12 years. Before being appointed Rector of the Cathedral, he was chaplain at St. Boniface Diocesan High School for five years.

He gained experience as a member of the Diocesan Finance Committee, of the Presbyteral Council and of the Diocesan Commissions for Liturgy and for Catechesis. He also served as the spiritual director of the TEC (To Encounter Christ) movement for eight years.

On June 28th, 2012, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed the Reverend Marcel Damphousse as Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall. He was ordained bishop on September 2, 2012 in St. Finnan’s Cathedral in Alexandria, ON. On November 12th, 2015, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed Bishop Damphousse as the sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada.

On May 6, 2020, Archbishop Marcel Damphousse was named the coadjutor archbishop of the newly created Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall. He succeeded Archbishop Terrence Prendergast following the latter’s retirement on December 3, 2020.

The Most Reverend Bishop Yvan Mathieu
(Auxiliary Bishop of Ottawa-Cornwall)

Former Archbishop of Ottawa-Cornwall – The Most Reverend Archbishop Terrence Prendergast

Former Archbishop of Ottawa-Cornwall, the Most Reverend Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, who gave the initial permission and blessing of SMOP in 2011.

Prefect of the Congregation of the Clergy - Cardinal Beniamino Stella