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Birmingham Archbishop welcomes Pope Francis

Pope Francis appears on the balcony of the St Peter's Basilica. Credit: Reuters

The Archbishop of Birmingham has tonight welcomed the election of Pope Francis as the new head of the Catholic Church.

The Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham said:

_"This is wonderful news for the Church in all parts of the world. It is an imaginative and inspiring choice that now sets the tone and direction for the Church's mission. Pope Francis' simple appeal for our prayers and his humility have already touched people. _

I look forward to the steer we shall all receive through his example and the way he approaches the Petrine ministry. I know that everybody in the Archdiocese of Birmingham will rejoice at this news and will gladly pray for our new Holy Father."