"On behalf of the Uniting Church in Australia I welcome the election of Pope Francis.
"I pray that God blesses him and the Catholic Church throughout the world in this important ministry," said Rev. Prof Dutney.
"I gladly reaffirm the friendship of our churches in Australia and our shared commitment to work here for the justice and peace promised in the resurrection of Christ."
Members of the Uniting Church's Christian Unity Working Group, which conducts dialogues between the UCA and other churches including the Catholic Church, also greeted the news.
"Together with our Catholic brothers and sisters we welcome the news of the election of the new pontiff," said Maureen Postma, Acting Secretary of Christian Unity Working Group.
"The Uniting Church in Australia has long been in dialogue with representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and we have valued their commitment to both the dialogue and wider conversations with other churches through their commitment to the ecumenical movement."
"We pray for Pope Francis I as he moves into this new area of ministry," said Ms Postma.
The Uniting Church has maintained inter-Church dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church since 1978, initially based in Melbourne but more recently in Brisbane.
"The Uniting Church members of the Roman Catholic/Uniting Church Dialogue wish their colleagues in the Catholic Church God's blessing as they welcome their new Pope," said Dialogue Co-chair Rev. Bruce Johnson.
"The worldwide interest in this historic event will provide fresh perspectives to our conversations about the way we engage with the wider society in proclaiming the faith of the Church."
Photo : Rev. Professor Andrew Dutney. Photo: Uniting Church in Australia Assembly