20 April 2005

The Web

First reactions to Benedict XVI

Dun Anton Gouder, Seminary Rector
“The new Pope, Benedict XVI, had an important role in the administration of the Church during Pope John Paul II’s pontificate. The election of a new Pope represents a bond between humanity represented by the cardinals and the Holy Spirit. The new Pope is God’s gift to the Church and humanity”.

Fr Mark Montebello, Dominican priest
“The election of Ratzinger marks the start of a transitory papacy that is expected to be a continuation of the previous one, especially when considering his old age. I expect this papacy to be a short one. It was a good indication that cardinals had continued the tradition of electing a foreign pope rather than an Italian pope. I think it has showed that he was actually first-in-command since the previous pope first fell ill. At least we now know who had really been in command.”

Susan Midolo, theologian and pastoral counsellor
“He was not the candidate I hoped for due to his conservative position on a number of issues. However he was also the candidate who was most expected to become pope. prima facie, pending any surprises, this looks like a continuation and consolidation of the previous papacy.”

Father Hilary Tagliaferro, Augustinian Priest
“The choice of Cardinal Ratzinger has been a surprise to me. I would have preferred someone else. But the message from all this is clear: the Church is now firmly united. After hearing Cardinal Ratzinger’s sermon on Monday the Cardinals knew where Ratzinger stood. He is a very coherent man. The Holy Spirit has inspired Cardinals to make a choice of continuity.”

Frank Zammit, Vatican analyst
“This was one of the fastest elections in the last century. Pope John Paul I was also elected after four rounds of voting in 1978. The election of Cardinal Ratzinger is an indication of continuity. He was a close collaborator of Pope John Paul II. The relationship between them was marked by reciprocal respect. It is also interesting that Ratzinger also has a close connection to Malta. He was also a close collaborator of Mons. Scicluna in the Congregation on the Doctrine of Faith.”

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