CAFOD has welcomes the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI and the head of the Catholic Church. Director Chris Bain said: "We send our warmest congratulations and our prayers as he takes on the great responsibility of leader of the Catholic Church. "We hope that Benedict XVI will work tirelessly to fight for the poorest of the poor, the sick and the stigmatised. We hope that he will accept the challenge of this work and engage in the difficult and uncomfortable debates ahead. "We hope that Pope Benedict XVI will make engagement with the poor a crucial element of his papacy and give them a strong voice both within and outside the Church. We would like to see him carry on the work of John Paul II by challenging world leaders on justice and peace issues. "We pray that Pope Benedict has the courage to champion the issues that face the developing world, issues such as battling against the injustices of a world where 1.3 billion people do not have enough to eat and where a child dies every three seconds. "As a new papacy begins, Catholics will have a sense of a new beginning of hope and optimism. We must be ready to listen to the needs of the developing world and realise that our faith challenges us, to work for a world in which the dignity of every individual is respected and the voice of the poor is heard and listened to. The challenge of solidarity with the poor is at the heart of the Christian faith.
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