- (Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
President Barack Obama revealed his thoughts about the possibility of an American pope along with his hopes for the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church just before it was announced that Pope Francis was named pontiff.
Obama, President of the United States, has been vocal about his own Christian beliefs. He recently opened up about his thoughts concerning an American pontiff just before the first Argentinean was elected into the position.
"I don't know if you've checked lately, but the Conference of Catholic Bishops here in the U.S. doesn't seem to be taking orders from me," the President said before interjecting his opinion in an interview with ABC. "It seems to me an American pope would preside as effectively as a Polish pope, an Italian pope, or a Guatemalan pope."
While the leader of the U.S. praised the way the Roman Catholic church helps underprivileged people around the world, he spoke about his personal hopes for the new pontiff.
"My hope is that you have a pope who sustains and maintains what I consider the central message of the gospel– that we treat everybody as children of God, that we love them the way Jesus Christ taught us to love them," Obama told ABC.
After he learned about the designation of Pope Francis, formerly known as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, Obama offered his thoughts Wednesday.
"As a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us, he carries forth the message of love and compassion that has inspired the world for more than 2,000 years- that in each other, we see the face of God," Obama said in a statement.
Vice President Joe Biden, the first Catholic to be elected Vice President, also shared a statement about his happiness concerning the outcome of the new pontiff.
"The Catholic Church plays an essential role in my life and the lives of more than a billion people in America and around the world, not just in matters of our faith, but in pursuit of peace and human dignity for all faiths," Biden said.
Biden is scheduled to lead the U.S. delegation to Pope Francis' installation in Rome, according to White House reports.