UK Prime Minister David Cameron
A momentous day for the 1.2bn Catholics around the world as His Holiness Pope Francis I is appointed the 266th Bishop of Rome.
US President Barack Obama
As a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us, he carries forth the message of love and compassion that has inspired the world for more than two thousand years—that in each other we see the face of God. As the first pope from the Americas, his selection also speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is increasingly shaping our world, and alongside millions of Hispanic Americans, those of us in the United States share the joy of this historic day.
Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
Quoted by AFP as saying: "We wish him, as he takes the reins of the Church, a fruitful pastoral mission, with such tremendous responsibility on his shoulders, seeking justice, equality, brotherhood, and peace among mankind."
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
I look forward to continuing cooperation between the United Nations and the Holy See, under the wise leadership of His Holiness Pope Francis.We share many common goals – from the promotion of peace, social justice and human rights, to the eradication of poverty and hunger – all core elements of sustainable development. We also share the conviction that we can only resolve the interconnected challenges of today's world through dialogue. I am certain that His Holiness will continue to build on the legacy of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, in the promotion of inter-faith dialogue which is at the heart of the Alliance of Civilizations initiative.
Joint message by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy
On behalf of the European Union, we convey our sincere congratulations on your election. We wish you a long and blessed Pontificate, which will allow your Holiness and the Catholic Church to defend and promote the fundamental values of peace, solidarity and human dignity. They are essential sign posts in a world facing numerous challenges and undergoing deep change. We are convinced that your Holiness will continue to further with determination and strength the work of Your predecessors by bringing the world's people and religions closer together.
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond
I wish him well in his time in the Papacy, and his first message as Pope - urging greater bonds of understanding and co-operation among peoples and nations - is one that should resonate around the globe.