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Local church leader to congratulate Pope Francis

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – A local leader was invited to attend the inauguration of Pope Francis. John Upton, President of the Baptist World Alliance will represent 42 million Baptists around the world by offering congratulations to Pope Francis next Tuesday, March 19 during the inauguration.

Former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina will be the first Latin American elected as pope.

“The BWA celebrates with the Catholic Church the announcement of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis. The prayerful discernment process of the Catholic Church in selecting the pope has been a comfort to us all,” Upton says.

Meeting the pope is nothing new to Upton because he met Pope Benedict in 2011 at the Assisi Peace Summit.

Upton will depart for Rome this Sunday.