Apprised of the election of a new Pope this morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama lost no time in writing to him to express his congratulations.
“May I offer you my greetings and sense of joy on your historic election as the Pope.”
Acknowledging the new pontiff's historic choice of name, he wrote:
“Although I am not very familiar with many Catholic saints, I do know about St Francis, having visited Assisi and attended inter-religious gatherings there. His discipline, the simplicity of his way of life and his love for all creatures are qualities that I find deeply inspiring. I am moved to know that his is the name you have chosen for your papacy.”
Recalling his cordial meetings with Pope Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI and other Christian brothers and sisters, His Holiness looked forward to meeting the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church:
“ I am very pleased to have met and enjoyed friendly conversations with your immediate predecessors and, for the last forty years or so, have participated in fruitful exchanges with my Christian brothers and sisters. I hope that I may have the honour of calling on you too sometime in the near future.”