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Saturday, March 25, 2017
More messages following election of Pope Benedict XVI
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¬†Since the news of Pope Benedict XVI's election today, messages have been pouring into ICN from around the world. Bishop Crispian Hollis, Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth: I very much welcome the news of the election of Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope, taking the name of Benedict XVI. His predecessor of that name was Pope between 1915 and 1922 and, it is said, died of a broken heart because he was unable to bring an end to the First World War. Benedict XV was a man of peace and I feel that is a mantle that the new Benedict will inherit. St Benedict is also the patron saint of Europe and all that I know of Benedict XVI points to the fact that he is totally committed to the unity if Europe, stemming from its Christian history. The new Pope comes with the reputation of being "the enforcer. Cardinal Ratzinger is a man of immense courtesy and gentleness, he is a man of prayer and one who is close to the Lord. Ratzinger the Pope will, I suspect, will present a very different image from that with which he has been saddled in the past. He does not have that public charisma of John Paul II, but I feel sure that in his quiet way he will very quickly endear himself to the Catholic family world-wide in particular and the whole human family in general. His election to the Papacy is a gift of the Spirit to the Church, and just as we have prayed for those whose task it was to elect him, so we now pray for him, and for ourselves that we may recognise in his voice that of the Good Shepherd. Bishop of Aberdeen, Bishop Peter Moran: "It is great news for the Catholic Church and for me personally that a new Pope has been chosen: we are uneasy while we are leaderless. The electors who choose a Pope draw on their wisdom and their experience: but even more, they make their choice after much prayer. We believe that their choice is guided by the Holy Spirit of God. We believe that Pope Benedict XVI is God's choice. On a human level and on a political level the choice is very interesting. Before Pope John Paul the Second, the choice of a German to be Pope would have been astonishing, almost unheard of; today, we take this particular aspect almost for granted. But once again we have a Pope who grew up in difficult times, under a harsh regime, and in his young adulthood saw his country divided. Many of us had wondered if the new Pope might be non-European ≠ from Latin America, perhaps, or even from Africa. We now know ≠ not this time; perhaps later. Perhaps our newly-expanded Europe needs moral and spiritual leadership more than most! What about Pope Benedict's age ≠ he is seventy-eight. I was in Rome nearly fifty years ago when Giovanni Roncalli, Pope John the Twenty-third, was elected at seventy-eight, and people nodded and said, "Oh, just a stop-gap Pope". He surprised us all. Josef Ratzinger may well surprise us, too. He may be elderly in years, but he is vigourous, clear-headed, widely read, cultured and very very experienced. I look forward to a steady but energetic pontificate." Bishop Arthur Roche: I am absolutely delighted at the news of the election of our new Holy Father. Pope Benedict is well known and deeply respected. The fact that this election was so swift is evidence of the confidence that his fellow Cardinals have in his ability to lead the Catholic Church. His gifts as a theologian and a pastor are well attested. He is also known for his goodness of heart. Statement from the British Jesuits: Since their foundation by St Ignatius Loyola, the Jesuits have always been at the service of the Holy Father. The cardinals, guided in faith by the Holy Spirit, have made their choice, and we commit ourselves wholeheartedly and with enthusiasm to the leadership of Pope Benedict XVI. We pray that the Church may grow from the legacy of his predecessor ≠ not only in Pope Benedict's guidance in matters of morals and church policy, but also in his pastoral concern for God's people and his particular compassion for the poor, the vulnerable and the marginalised. POLITICAL LEADERS German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder: This is a great honour for Germany. I think he will be a worthy successor to Pope John Paul II. I congratulate him on behalf of the government and all Germans. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan: His Holiness brings a wealth of experience to this exalted office. The United Nations and the Holy See share a strong commitment to peace, social justice, human dignity, religious freedom and mutual respect among the world's religions. The Secretary-General looks forward to the contributions His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI will make in strengthening those values. US President George Bush: He is a man of great wisdom and knowledge. He is a man who serves the Lord. We remember well a sermon at the pope's funeral in Rome. His words touched our hearts and the hearts of millions. We join with our fellow citizens and millions around the world who pray for continuous strength and wisdom. French President Jacques Chirac: I send Pope Benedict XVI my warmest congratulations and sincere good wishes for the high mission that has just been entrusted on the head of the Catholic Church. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi: I certainly express the feelings of all Italians, and am particularly delighted, when I present Your Holiness with the warm and respectful homage of the Italian government. Spanish Prime Minister Jose Rodriguez Zapatero: Please receive in the name of the Spanish government and the people of Spain our warmest congratulations for your election as Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church and my best wishes for the Papacy which you begin today. South African President Thabo Mbeki: Pope Benedict XVI assumes leadership at a critical time in which the world's collective wisdom and leadership including that of the religious community is most important to face up to challenges of deepening poverty and under-development afflicting many people of the world. Irish President Mary McAleese: May your acceptance of this tremendous burden of service bear fruit in our world. May God give you strength for these new cares. The UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: We welcome the new Pope and wish him every success in the daunting challenges that lie ahead. ...We hope that he will continue along the path of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II in working to enhance relations with the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Mary Grant. US Survivors Network of those abused by priests: Ratzinger is a polarising figure to many, who seems to prefer combativeness to compromise and compassion. Still, we wish him well. It's ... crucial that the new pope follow the words and views of John Paul II who said 'there is no place in the priesthood for anyone who would harm the young.
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