Immediately following the election of Pope Francis on the evening of March 13, His All-Holiness communicated the following congratulatory message to the Vatican:
In the joy and jubilation of Your election as the pastoral leader of Roman Catholic Christians throughout the world, we are communicating with Your Holiness in order to express to You and the devout faithful of Your blessed Church our wholehearted congratulations and sincerest salutations on this special day.
Permit us also, on this historic occasion, to convey our unfeigned wishes and fervent prayers that your papal tenure may prove to be a source of peace in our world of turmoil and division, a refuge and consolation for our Lord’s poor and suffering brothers and sisters, as well as a continuation of our journey toward reconciliation and consolidation of the dialogue toward unity as Sister Churches.
May God grant Your Holiness many years of healthy and fruitful ministry to serve His people with Your distinctive humility, simplicity, and charity.
At the Ecumenical Patriarchate, on March 13th, 2013
Your Holiness’ beloved brother in Christ
Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome
and Ecumenical Patriarch
Read the original letter (PDF)