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Dalai Lama congratulates new pope, praises his choice of name

The Dalai Lama has sent his congratulations to newly elected Pope Francis and praised his choice of name.

The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader said in a statement Thursday that while he was not especially familiar with Catholic saints, he was a fan of St. Francis of Assisi.

"His discipline, the simplicity of his way of life and his love for all creatures are qualities that I find deeply inspiring," the Dalai Lama said. "I am moved to know that his is the name you have chosen for your papacy."

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate said he looked forward to meeting the new pope soon, just as he had met with his three predecessors.

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