Cardinal Dolan speaks about Pope Francis

CREATED Mar. 13, 2013 - UPDATED: Mar. 13, 2013

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VATICAN CITY (AP) -- A prominent American cardinal has said newly elected Pope Francis will visit his predecessor Benedict XVI on Thursday at the papal retreat in Castel Gandolfo south of Rome.

Timothy Dolan said Wednesday at the North American College, the U.S. seminary in Rome, that Francis told fellow cardinals following the conclave that made him pope: "Tomorrow morning, I'm going to visit Benedict."

The conclave made Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio the first pontiff from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. Benedict's stunning resignation last month has raised concerns about the peculiar situation of having a reigning pope and a retired one.

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan's full statement -

On this joyous day, I issued a statement in my role as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on the election of our Holy Father, Pope Francis.

The election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has taken the name Francis, marks a great milestone in our church. As successor to Peter, our first pope, Pope Francis stands as the figure of unity for all Catholics wherever they reside.

The bishops of the United States and the people of our 195 dioceses offer prayers for our new leader and promise allegiance to him.Intense prayer from all around the world surrounded the election of Pope Francis.

The bishops of the United States thank God for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the inspired choice of the College of Cardinals.With joy in our hearts, we declare “Ad Multos Annos!” (For many years!)

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York
President
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops