Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Habemus Papam!

We have a pope! In one of the shortest conclaves in years, the college of cardinals has elected Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as the new Pope Benedict XVI. Here is a short video clip on the announcement from the Vatican. Myway News has a good article on the election, and The Pope Blog has a ton of info on Cardinal Ratzinger and his election to the highest office in the Church.
The sense of elation knowing that we now have a pope, that the Church is no longer without a Shepard, and that this pope is very similar to John Paul II in his views is very comforting.
Cardinal Ratzinger was thought to be a top candidate by most, as he has plenty of experience in the Vatican, residing there since 1981 and heading up the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as well as being elected dean of the college of cardinals in 2002. He is very well read and versed as was JPII, speaking 10 languages. His critics say he if far to strict and will alienate those who disagree with those Church teachings which he upholds. His supporters say he will continue to keep the Churches teachings of today streamlined with that of the past in matters of pastoral care.
Here is his greeting and blessing to the whole Church:

"Dear brothers and sisters, after our great pope, John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me, a simple, humble worker in God's vineyard. I am consoled by the fact that the Lord knows how to work and how to act, even with insufficient tools, and I especially trust in your prayers.
"In the joy of the resurrected Lord, trustful of his permanent help, we go ahead, sure that God will help. And Mary, his most beloved mother, stands on our side."

He then delivered his first "Urbi at Orbi" ("for the city and for the world") papal blessing, after which the crowd in St. Peter's Square chanted, "Viva il papa," or "Long live the pope."