(CNA) — The executive committee of the Argentine Bishops’ Conference invited the country’s faithful to celebrate “with joy and fervor” the 10th anniversary of the election of Pope Francis as the successor of St. Peter.
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, then archbishop of Buenos Aires, was elected pontiff on March 13, 2013, on the second day of the conclave following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. Francis is the first Latin American pope and the first Jesuit to serve as pontiff in the history of the Catholic Church.
In a letter, the Argentine bishops, headed by Bishop Óscar Ojea, encouraged the dioceses of Argentina to join the celebrations from March 11–19, marking the 10th anniversary of the start of Pope Francis’ Petrine ministry, in order to “renew along with our holy faithful People of God the affection” for the Holy Father.
The prelates noted that “this profound affection” is not only shared by members of the Catholic Church but also “by a huge number of people, believers and nonbelievers, who value his leadership.”
“It is an opportunity for us to express with joy and faith our adherence and gratitude to the magisterium of the bishop of Rome who presides over the Churches in charity,” the bishops said.
The Argentine prelates invited parishes, cathedrals, and Marian shrines to celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving, emphasizing that this is an occasion for the Argentine people to renew their “joy for the ministry of Francis” and to pray for his pastoral service.
They also encouraged that, if possible, a celebration of a diocesan or regional nature be held, to “manifest joy in communion,” in person or virtually.