U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement in reaction to the election of Pope Francis I:
"A new leader has emerged onto the world stage with the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as Pope Francis I. It is a significant day for the people of the world, as well as for the people of the Roman Catholic Church. The church has decided to break with centuries of tradition in choosing its first non-European pontiff of the modern era. Let all of us who hope for a more peaceful world, brought forth through greater understanding between peoples and greater dedication to our highest ideals, pray for Pope Francis I."