Max, Kamla offer congratulations
...Election of new Pope
President George Maxwell Richards and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar have both written to Archbishop of Port of Spain Joseph Harris, expressing congratulations on the election of His Holiness Pope Francis I.
Richards, in his letter addressed to the Pope and copied to the Archbishop, noted that "Roman Catholicism has made a significant contribution to the development of our twin-island Republic and we look forward to strengthening our ties with the Vatican and the continuing invaluable collaboration with the Church on social issues".
Persad-Bissessar noted that it was "indeed significant" that the new Pope comes from Latin America (Argentina) and it was the first time in more than 1,000 years a non-European Pope was chosen.
"The Caribbean and Latin America share close historical and cultural ties and the appointment of Pope Francis I is a significant achievement for the Roman Catholic community throughout the Caribbean and South America," said the PM.
Here are their respective letters:
His Holiness Pope Francis I
00120 Vatican City
It is my great honour, on behalf of the Government and People of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, to extend warmest congratulations to you on your recent election as the Vicar of Rome. This milestone is a source of immense joy for all developing countries, particularly those in the Western Hemisphere. Your wide, rich experience in service will undoubtedly inspire your leadership of all Catholics, including here in Trinidad and Tobago, as our States collectively seek to improve the well-being of peoples throughout the world.
Roman Catholicism has made a significant contribution to the development of our twin-island Republic and we look forward to strengthening our ties with the Vatican and the continuing invaluable collaboration with the Church on social issues.
As you commence your papacy during this significant Annus Fidei (Year of Faith), we join our prayers with others around the globe for your good health, success and an abundance of God's blessings.
Please accept, Your Holiness, the assurances of my highest consideration.
George Maxwell Richards TC, CMTT, Ph.D
Archbishop Joseph Harris
Port of Spain
It is with great pleasure that I extend congratulations to you and the Roman Catholic community on the assumption of the 266th Pontiff of Rome today, Wednesday 13th, 2013, a major milestone in the history of the Roman Catholic Church, following the resignation of Benedict XVL Pope Emeritus.
There is no doubt that the spiritual aspect of one's life is crucial to balanced living and the well-being of the individual, hence, my personal gratification that a Holy Father has been chosen in a timely manner.
It is indeed significant that the new Pope Francis I comes from Latin America as it is the first time in over one thousand years that a non-European Pope has been chosen. The Caribbean and Latin America share close historical and cultural ties and the appointment of Pope Francis I is a significant achievement for the Roman Catholic community throughout the Caribbean and South America,
Please accept my sincere regards on this auspicious occasion and my best wishes for your own health and well-being.
May God bless you, Pope Francis I and all the members of the Archdiocese of Port of Spain.
Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.