Here is the statement from Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver, Colorado, released Wednesday.
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“You are Peter, the rock,” said Jesus Christ to his apostle Simon Peter “and upon this rock I will build my Church. … I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 16:18-19).
For two thousand years, the successors of St. Peter have served as the rock—the “visible source and foundation” of unity in the life of the Church. Today, Pope Francis takes up the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. His leadership, his guidance, and his friendship with Jesus Christ will guide Christ’s disciples for the years to come.
Please join me in giving thanks to the Father for the gift of Pope Francis.
Please join me too in prayer for his ministry. And let us commit to joining Pope Francis in a life of service, fidelity, and friendship with Jesus Christ, our savior and brother.
Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila
Archbishop of Denver