Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has joined other world leaders in offering congratulations to Pope Francis I on his appointment as head of the Roman Catholic Church.
In a letter to the pontiff Stuart said: “I am honoured and humbled at the opportunity I have to offer you my most sincere congratulations and those of the Government and people of Barbados as you assume this most sacred position as the leader of the international Catholic Church and community.
“We are particularly overjoyed that the College of Cardinals chose one from our region to guide the church at this particular time.
“Your election to this highest office is indeed the work of the Holy Spirit and a reflection of the trust, confidence and commitment that have been reposed in you by over one billion of the world’s population. The fact that your election has been welcomed and celebrated by persons of many other religious persuasions throughout the world is indeed a cause for celebration.”
Stuart also said that he was “confident that your reputation as a humble servant of the poor and your dedicated and steadfast service will continue to be the hallmark of your leadership and will redound to the benefit of the world at large”.
He added: “Like the rest of Christendom, we pray for your success, a long tenure, and that God’s continued blessings and guidance will sustain Your Holiness in the years to come.”
The Prime Minister expressed the wish that “… the peace that the world so much needs finds expression and advancement in your ministry”.