Posted April. 20, 2005 23:22,
Germanys Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has been chosen to be the 265th Pope. Considering how the Pope, aside from being the leader of 1.1 billion Catholics, serves as the spiritual leader for a total of 6.0 billion people around the world, this is indeed a choice designed by God and a celebration for the world.
The new pope has taken the name of Benedict XVI. Benedict signifies blessings. I hope that Gods blessings and grace will be granted to the world, just as the new popes name states, so that the world may take another step toward shared love and peace.
The papacy has much difficulty and solitude in store in addition to the glory it brings. That is why the little room where the pope changes into the white papal robes right after he is chosen is called the Room of Tears. The new Pope, who is no stranger to hardships, asked the crowd gathered in St. Peters Square at the Vatican to pray for him, humbling himself as a simple, humble worker in the Lord`s vineyard. As long as he adheres to that idea, he will become a pope as loved and revered as the late Pope John Paul II, who will forever be remembered as the Apostle of Peace.
Pope Benedict XVI is a ready-made pope, who assisted the former pope as his prefect in the Vaticans Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for the last 20 years. He has been a conservative orthodox cardinal, opposing homosexuality, abortion, and human cloning, and he has had reservations about religious pluralism and the ordination of female priests. However, because there are many who want change both inside and outside the church, we expect to see him make some sagacious decisions and take prudent measures.
I believe that Pope Benedict XVI, the first Pope selected in the 21st Century, is well aware of why God has chosen him and what the church should offer to alleviate the pains of humanity. I hope the new pope will shine a light of hope on global issues that remain unresolved, such as the ongoing conflicts between civilizations and religions and the problem of poverty.