Pope Francis celebrated his 10th anniversary as the head of the Catholic Church on Monday, reflecting on his mission to bring mercy and peace to the world.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, fondly called Pope Francis is the first Latin American Pontiff, ordained on the 13th of March, 2013 and succeeding Pope Benedict XVI who was the first pope to resign in six centuries. “It seems like yesterday,” he said in a podcast by the Vatican News broadcast on Monday. “Time flies. When you gather up today, it is already tomorrow.”
In his remarks, the Pope spoke of the challenges he faced when he assumed the papacy in March 2013. He said his goal was to be a shepherd for the Catholic community and a servant of humanity. During his tenure, the Pope has become known for his focus on social justice and his emphasis on the need to care for the poor and marginalised. He has also been a strong advocate for interfaith dialogue and peacebuilding efforts.
The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, sent a greeting address to celebrate the 10th year of papacy of the Pope. In his address, he said; “It is a special honour and a deep joy for me to express my most sincere congratulations to my beloved brother, Pope Francis, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of his election as the first bishop of our sister Church of Rome.
Over these ten years, our friendship and collaboration, especially in the ministry of bringing comfort and peace to all God’s people, and in the mandate to promote care and healing for all God’s Creation, have brought us closer together in our common conviction and commitment to see the face and welcome the presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the least of our suffering brothers and sisters.”…
Rabbi Abraham Skorka, an old friend of the Pope, shares his well-wishes for the 10 years anniversary of Pope Francis Pontificate. He said in his address; “As the Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio had a very deep relationship with the Jews of his city. He cultivated open dialogues with rabbis, community leaders, and individuals and developed many friendships that deepened significantly over time.”
“I am among those who were blessed by enjoying such a friendship with him, one based on our regular interreligious conversations. Together we wrote a book of our dialogues (On Heaven and Earth) and recorded thirty-one programs for the archdiocesan television channel. He spoke at several different local synagogues, including my own, where he gave warm and spiritually inspiring messages to their congregations. He was a constant source of assurance and support, especially after the horrible bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish community center in 1994. Especially touching to me personally was his request that I compose the preface to his authorized biography. All these things testified to Cardinal Bergoglio’s sincere dedication to building relationships and friendships with Jews and their community institutions.”
“After the unprecedented resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, and my friend’s historic election as the first pope from Latin America, everyone who read about this cardinal from “the end of the world” (as he put it), learned how important to him were his experiences with the Jewish people.”
Many other clergy men had celebrated the 10th pontificate anniversary of Pope Francis, among whom was the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed Al-Tayyeb. (Read his address here)
The Pope’s message of mercy and compassion has resonated with millions of people around the world, and he has been praised for his efforts to bring the Church closer to the people.