Leaders across the world celebrated the election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as the new Pope, considering it a historical moment and a fact that makes the Church more universal than ever.
Latin American Presidents as Colombia's Juan Manuel Santos and Ecuadorean Rafael Correa praised the election of Pope Francis, the first Latin American Pope.
Correa used his Twitter account to celebrate the election and stated We have a Latin American Pope! We live a historical moment! Long live Francis I!
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff congratulated Argentina for the election of Francis and looked forward to hosting the new pontiff in Rio de Janeiro during the World Youth Day in July.
”(As) the largest country in the number of Catholics, Brazil keenly followed the conclave and the election of the first Latin American pope Rousseff said
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto showed his support to the new Pope by saying Our respect to Pope Francis I, Vatican Head of State, and also assured in his Twitter account that he hopes to have a cordial and close relation with the new pontiff.
Peña Nieto is planning to travel to the Vatican to assist to the inauguration mass, which will be held on March 19.
Venezuela's caretaker president Nicolas Maduro saw the hand of late leader Hugo Chavez in the choice of the conclave of cardinals.
We know our commander ascended into those heights and is standing before Christ. He must have exerted some influence for a South American pope to be elected, Maduro said.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama stated that the election of the Argentine Pope demonstrates the strength and vitality of a region that is gaining influence in the world.
I look forward to working with His Holiness to advance peace, security, and dignity for our fellow human beings, he said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country produced Bergoglio's predecessor, Benedict XVI, said she was especially happy for the Christians of Latin America.
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, who was close to Bergoglio's predecessor, said he was struck by the simplicity of the pope's first public address, while outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti stressed the pontiff's Italian origins.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the church and the U.N. shared many common goals and that he hoped Pope Francis would continue Benedict's efforts to promote inter-faith dialogue”.
UK PM David Cameron affirmed via his Twitter account that the election was transcendental, shortly after the official announcement.
The Spanish Head of State, Mariano Rajoy, congratulated the new pontiff Francis I, convinced that he will contribute decisively to a better world, and showed his availability to strengthen the relations with the Holy See.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas invited Pope Francis to visit Bethlehem, birthplace of Jesus Christ.
World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder said the pope was no stranger to Jewish communities, adding he expected Francis to continue fighting anti-Semitism.
The cardinal had always had an open ear for our concerns, Lauder said.
The National Bishops' Conference of Brazil, which has the world's biggest Catholic population, saw the winds of change blowing through the Vatican.
The election of a Latin American showed the Church is opening up, that it is devoted to the whole Church and not just to Europe's,” Leonardo Steiner, secretary-general of the conference said.