“With excitement the city of Rome salutes its Bishop,” the mayor of the Italian capital, Walter Veltroni, said on Tuesday, adding that the faithful “gathered in St. Peter’s Square gave him their first affectionate homage.”
In a statement “in the name of all citizens,” Veltroni sent “special congratulations to Benedict XVI, the Pontiff who starting today assumes the weight of guiding the universal Church from our city.”
“We are sure that in the wake of the extraordinary human experience of Karol Wojytla, Pope Benedict will know how to show that he is also a great friend of the Romans,” the statement read.
The mayor of Rome recalled the work carried out by the new Pontiff as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He added the Benedict XVI “knows Rome well” and that Romans “have learned to get to know him.”