Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI First Remarks

As a Catholic I was curious to read the Pope's first remarks. They were what I wished to hear:

VATICAN CITY -- In his first extensive remarks as pope, Benedict XVI sought to calm fears today that his papacy would further divide the Roman Catholic Church and pledged to reach out to other faiths.

Benedict, who as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, asserted the primacy of Catholicism and branded as "deficient" other religions including Protestant denominations, said he hoped to unify Christians and further the cause of ecumenism.


"Confounding all my expectations, divine providence through the votes of the venerable father cardinals has called me to succeed this great pope," Ratzinger said, ignoring for the moment that he had been considered the far-and-ahead front-runner within days of John Paul's death.

"I have a sense of inadequacy and human turmoil at the responsibility entrusted to me yesterday," he said.


Rigali, the cardinal from Philadelphia, said Ratzinger explained his choice of the name Benedict, after two earlier Benedicts: the World War I-era pontiff who attempted unsuccessfully to make peace, and St. Benedict, the monk and patron saint of Europe.

"So obviously the pope has launched the idea that coming as he does from Western Europe that he wants to do what he can to promote the well-being of Europe," Rigali said. "And the cardinal made specific mention of this, that St. Benedict instructs people to prefer nothing [more] than the love of Christ."


May the Holy Spirit guides Pope Benedict XVI everyday.


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