Anglican leader wishes new pope 'every blessing'

Justin Welby, leader of the world's Anglicans, on Wednesday wished "every blessing" to the newly-elected Pope Francis I of Argentina and said he looked forward to working with the 76-year-old pontiff.

The new Archbishop of Canterbury said: "We wish Pope Francis every blessing in the enormous responsibilities that he has assumed on behalf of Roman Catholics around the world.

"I look forward to meeting Pope Francis, and to walking and working together to build on the consistent legacy of our predecessors," he said in a statement.

Welby said the election was of "great significance to Christians everywhere, not least among Anglicans.

"We have long since recognised, and often reaffirmed, that our churches hold a special place for one another," he added.

Argentina's Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, was elevated to the papacy by the College of Cardinals, who met at the Vatican to choose a successor to Pope Benedict XVI who resigned last month.