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Old Apr 19, 2005, 09:46 AM   #1
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Default New Pope chosen

Cardinals Select Germany's Joseph Ratzinger
Chooses Name Pope Benedict XVI
By WILLIAM J. KOLE, AP



AP

Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd in St. Peter's Square.


VATICAN CITY (April 19) - Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, the Roman Catholic Church's leading hard-liner, was elected the new pope Tuesday in the first conclave of the new millennium. He chose the name Benedict XVI and called himself ''a simple, humble worker.''

Ratzinger, the first German pope in centuries, emerged onto the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, where he waved to a wildly cheering crowd of tens of thousands and gave his first blessing. Other cardinals clad in their crimson robes came out on other balconies to watch him after one of the fastest papal conclaves of the past century.

''Dear brothers and sisters, after the great Pope John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me - a simple, humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord,'' he said after being introduced by Chilean Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estivez.

''The fact that the Lord can work and act even with insufficient means consoles me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers,'' the new pope said. ''I entrust myself to your prayers.''

The crowd responded to the 265th pope by chanting ''Benedict! Benedict!''

If the new pope was paying tribute to the last pontiff of that name, it could be interpreted as a bid to soften his image as the Vatican's doctrinal hard-liner.


The Church's Future





Benedict XV, who reigned from 1914 to 1922, was a moderate following Pius X, who had implemented a sharp crackdown against doctrinal ''modernism.'' He reigned during World War I and was credited with settling animosity between traditionalists and modernists, and dreamed of reunion with Orthodox Christians.

Benedict, which comes from the Latin for ''blessing,'' is one of a number of papal names of holy origin such as Clement (''mercy''), Innocent (''hopeful'' as well as ''innocent'') and Pius (''pious'').

Ratzinger turned 78 on Saturday. His age clearly was a factor among cardinals who favored a ''transitional'' pope who could skillfully lead the church as it absorbs John Paul II's legacy, rather than a younger cardinal who could wind up with another long pontificate.

The last pope from a German-speaking land was Victor II, bishop of Eichstatt, who reigned from 1055-57.

On Monday, Ratzinger, who was the powerful dean of the College of Cardinals, used his homily at the Mass dedicated to electing the next pope to warn the faithful about tendencies that he considered dangers to the faith: sects, ideologies like Marxism, liberalism, atheism, agnosticism and relativism - the ideology that there are no absolute truths.

''Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism,'' he said, speaking in Italian. ''Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and 'swept along by every wind of teaching,' looks like the only attitude acceptable to today's standards.

Ratzinger served John Paul II since 1981 as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In that position, he has disciplined church dissidents and upheld church policy against attempts by liberals for reforms.

He had gone into the conclave with the most buzz among two dozen leading candidates. He had impressed many faithful with his stirring homily at the funeral of John Paul II, who died April 2 at age 84.

White smoke poured from the Sistine Chapel and bells tolled earlier to announce the conclave had produced a pope. Flag-waving pilgrims in St. Peter's Square chanted: ''Viva il Papa!'' or ''Long live the pope!''

The bells rang after a confusing smoke signal that Vatican Radio initially suggested was black but then declared was too difficult to call. White smoke is used to announce a pope's election to the world.

It was one of the fastest elections in the past century: Pope Pius XII was elected in 1939 in three ballots on one day, while Pope John Paul I was elected in 1978 in four ballots in one day. The new pope was elected after either four or five ballots over two days.

''It's only been 24 hours, surprising how fast he was elected,'' Vatican Radio said, commenting on how the new pope was elected after just four or five ballots.

After the smoke appeared, pilgrims poured into the square, their eyes fixed on the burgundy-draped balcony. Pilgrims said the rosary as they awaited the name of the new pope and prelates stood on the roof of the Apostolic Palace, watching as the crowd nearly doubled in size.

Niels Hendrich, a 40-year-old salesman from Hamburg, Germany, jumped up and down with joy and called his father on a cell phone. ''Habemus papam!'' he shouted into the phone, using the Latin for: ''We have a pope.''

In the pope's hometown of Traunstein, Germany, a room full of 13-year-old boys at St. Michael's Seminary that Ratzinger attended jumped up and down, cheered and clapped as the news was announced.

''It's fantastic that it's Cardinal Ratzinger. I met him when he was here before and I found him really nice,'' said Lorenz Gradl, 16, who was confirmed by Ratzinger in 2003.

Antoinette Hastings, from Kent Island, Md., rose from her wheelchair, grasping her hands together and crying. She has artificial knees, making it tough to stand.

''I feel blessed, absolutely blessed,'' she said. ''I just wish the rest of my family were here to experience this with me.''

After the bells started to ring, people on the streets of Rome immediately headed from all directions toward Vatican City. Some priests and seminarians in clerical garb were running. Nuns pulled up their long skirts and jogged toward the Vatican. Drivers were honking horns and some people were closing stores early and joining the crowds.

Police immediately tried to direct traffic but to little effect.

Ratzinger succeeds a pope who gained extraordinary popularity over a 26-year pontificate, history's third-longest papacy. Millions mourned him around the world in a tribute to his charisma.

Cardinals had faced a choice over whether to seek an older, skilled administrator who could serve as a ''transitional'' pope while the church absorbs John Paul's legacy, or a younger dynamic pastor and communicator - perhaps from Latin America or elsewhere in the developing world where the church is growing.

While John Paul, a Pole, was elected to challenge the communist system in place in eastern Europe in 1978, Benedict faces new issues: the need for dialogue with Islam, the divisions between the wealthy north and the poor south as well as problems within his own church.

These include the priest sex-abuse scandals that have cost the church millions in settlements in the United States and elsewhere; coping with a chronic shortage of priests and nuns in the West; and halting the stream of people leaving a church indifferent to teachings they no longer find relevant.

Under John Paul, the church's central authority grew, often to dismay of bishops and rank-and-file Catholics around the world.

Pope John XXIII was 77 when he was elected pope in 1958 and viewed as a transitional figure, but he called the Second Vatican Council that revolutionized the church from within and opened up its dialogue with non-Catholics.

Benedict will have to decide whether to keep up the kind of foreign travel that was a hallmark of John Paul's papacy, with his 104 pilgrimages abroad.


AP-NY-04-19-05 1316EDT


******************

Apparently he is against Liberation Theology. A great disappointment to hear for those of us who are more liberal thinkers.
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 11:12 AM   #2
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Not another conservative one
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 11:38 AM   #3
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How much influence does a pope have these days? I mean we're a pretty progresive nation, I can't imagine anyone, not even our catholic church listening to someone in the vatican.
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 11:44 AM   #4
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I agree Legs. No one even mentions the pope these days. It means nothing to me. I can make my own decisions in life and form my own opinions.
But I'm sure it means something to many and thats fair enough!
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 02:05 PM   #5
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Not pleased with the choice, I must say...
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 02:10 PM   #6
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Me neither, really. It's perhaps a little scary, even. But for us catholics all that's left is to trust the decision of the cardinals, and pray to God for SS Benedict XVI.

Last edited by darkhorse : Apr 20, 2005 at 01:27 PM. Reason: I obviously meant 'Benedict'
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 02:35 PM   #7
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I can't believe they picked the former nazi...
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 02:48 PM   #8
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I know you're talking about USA, but there's a lot of people from outside USA who are very, I mean VERY catholic, and they think the pope is the representation of Jesus on Earth.

Me myself... I'm not catholic, but I really feel respect for those who really believe in that and put all their faith on the image of Jesus.
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 03:11 PM   #9
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I'm surprised a little bit, but not shocked necessarily. Back when I was in high school, we had a big discussion almost every year in Theology class about where would the next Pope come from, and every time we were all willing to bet that the next pope after JPII would be from Latin America because of the church's rapid growth there....so hearing the cardinals' choice was surprising.

And yes, the Pope is supposed to be the spiritual descendant of St. Peter (the first Pope), and Jesus had said that St. Peter would build his church...so it's not too big of a shock that they have chosen someone conservative and who is a hardliner when it comes to doctrine and morality. The Catholic church is VERY slow when it comes to change, and I don't see the church as ready to wipe out standpoints that have been around for two thousand years and withstood hundreds of sweeping worldwide changes in philosophy and the influence of other faiths.
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 03:25 PM   #10
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I really have no regrets in whom the cardinals selected. The man is now the holy leader of the Catholic Church and all should stand behind and support him. I had hoped that they would have selected an Italian but my vote doesn't count.

As for Catholics being slow to change, I do tend to agree with that. When I was growing up, our church still did everything in Latin. It wasn't until the late 60's that the English language was first used. I should know this well, since I was an altar boy at the time.

I wish long life and a successful tenure to Pope Benedict XVI.
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 03:52 PM   #11
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I hope that Pope Benedict XVI will do wonderfully, as I think he will, even though I'm not Catholic. Go Conservatives!!
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 04:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bearkat77
I really have no regrets in whom the cardinals selected. The man is now the holy leader of the Catholic Church and all should stand behind and support him. I had hoped that they would have selected an Italian but my vote doesn't count.

As for Catholics being slow to change, I do tend to agree with that. When I was growing up, our church still did everything in Latin. It wasn't until the late 60's that the English language was first used. I should know this well, since I was an altar boy at the time.

I wish long life and a successful tenure to Pope Benedict XVI.
well said Kat, I think because the church is so tradition oriented, that change is slow due to tradition(the smoke for example, that people speculating for a while today) I was hoping to see a Latin American elected....
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 05:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adayinthelife
I can't believe they picked the former nazi...
Ok... that comment seems really incredibly unfair. I'm not Catholic, and am really not in the habit of backing Catholics up, but this guy was once a Hitler youth who joined the army and then deserted, which put his life in danger. I am very very impressed with his courage to do such a thing. And I must say that as people living in this time, it is quite easy to pass judgement on Germans who were alive during WWII, but the cold hard facts are that many of them didn't know of the Holocaust, and had only a vague idea of Jews being persecuted. Hindsight is 20/20, and I would wager that if Germans at the time knew of the horrors that were going on, many more would have stood against it, like this man who the Cardinals just elected Pope. He should be commended for his bravery at such a young age back then, to buck the system and go aginst his society, which is not an easy thing to do, to stand up for good in the face of evil.

As for his being conservative, I say good! I'm Lutheran, and I'm constantly annoyed at how the Lutheran church has a tendency to want to cower to everything just for the sake of being politically correct. One of the things I admire about the Catholic church is their willingness to stand and stick it out when no one else will. And as a Christian, I find that I tend to agree with the stances that the Catholic church takes on most, but definitely not all, issues. From what I understand, most Catholics around the world are happy about the new pope, so this appears to me to be another case of Americans thinking the world revolves around them. They want a Pope to say divorce is ok? Well, it's not good for the church to condone divorce! Why? Cause the Bible says so! I think it's wonderful that they take a stand for the sanctity of marriage. I mean no offense at all to anyone on here who is divorced. I, like you, know plenty of people who are divorced. I do think that marriage is something that should be entered into very thoughtfully and prayerfully. It is an institution that is all about selflessness, and not selfishness, and I think it's wonderful that the Catholic church takes a stand for this holy union.

Ok.... I didn't mean to lecture for this long, but I have. Ah well. I pray that God will bless the new Pope, and that most importantly, this man who has been called by God will further the cause of Christ not only for Catholics, but for Christianity as a whole.
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 09:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adayinthelife
I can't believe they picked the former nazi...
He was not a nazi. He was conscripted into the Hitler Youth at a young age and that does not make one a nazi.

I am not religous, but I hope the new pope uses his political power for good and worthy ends and in that regard i wish him luck.
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 11:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beatlelover45223
well said Kat, I think because the church is so tradition oriented, that change is slow due to tradition(the smoke for example, that people speculating for a while today) I was hoping to see a Latin American elected....


agree with you Nancy.
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Old Apr 20, 2005, 02:18 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beatlelover45223
I was hoping to see a Latin American elected....
So was I. There's always next time.

All things considered, what's one Catholic to do but accept the final decision of the Cardinals... May God bless Benedict XVI, and, as matt5 said so well, may he use his influence for the good of humankind.
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Old Apr 20, 2005, 04:43 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt5
He was not a nazi. He was conscripted into the Hitler Youth at a young age and that does not make one a nazi.
Exactly. Not fair to tar him with this brush at all.

Quote:
I am not religous, but I hope the new pope uses his political power for good and worthy ends and in that regard i wish him luck.
Ditto.
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Old Apr 20, 2005, 04:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erinluv182
As for his being conservative, I say good! I'm Lutheran, and I'm constantly annoyed at how the Lutheran church has a tendency to want to cower to everything just for the sake of being politically correct.

They want a Pope to say divorce is ok? Well, it's not good for the church to condone divorce! Why? Cause the Bible says so! I think it's wonderful that they take a stand for the sanctity of marriage. I mean no offense at all to anyone on here who is divorced. I, like you, know plenty of people who are divorced. I do think that marriage is something that should be entered into very thoughtfully and prayerfully. It is an institution that is all about selflessness, and not selfishness, and I think it's wonderful that the Catholic church takes a stand for this holy union.
No offense? Well, sorry, but you've offended me! Thump your Bible somewhere else, OK? My mother is a devout Lutheran, on the church council, a communion assisstant, and Sunday School teacher among numerous other things. And she and my father are in the middle of a divorce. She and my father have been in marriage counseling for YEARS, have said thousands of prayers, and have turned to the Bible for guidance. After 25 years of marriage, they certainly didn't take the prospect of divorce lightly. They finally realized that the SELFLESS thing to do would be to divorce, sacrificing the marriage to save their friendship (as well as for MY sake). The Bible says a lot of things, among them "let he who is without sin cast the first stone." The Church, Catholic or otherwise, was established to offer love and understanding, not judgement and condemnation.


Back on the subject, I agree 100% with what you said, Matt.
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Old Apr 20, 2005, 01:20 PM   #19
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I'm a really bad Catholic, but that is indeed the faith I tend to go with. I like to think I can mix my politically liberal beliefs with Catholicism...I also recognize that American Catholics make up a tiny percentage of the worldwide Catholic population, and that the Cardinals picked who they believed would be best for these transitional years after Pope John Paul II's lengthy reign. It would be nice to see an endorsement of birth control, eventually. Vive il papa!
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Old Apr 20, 2005, 05:51 PM   #20
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I am so glad the former Cardinal Ratzinger was chosen as our new Pope. The American side of the Catholic family are a bickering, me-first, it's-ok-for-my-kids-but-not-for-me, rule-bucking, rights-demanding, wishy-washy bunch of "it's-my-body!" pantywaists who have no clear idea of what it means to BE a Catholic. I realise this is a generalisation, and I apologize beforehand to those who either are or know hardliner Catholics, but the fact of the matter is that the Church has existed since Peter's appointment precisely because it doesn't give in to current lifestyles, popular morality changes, and political ticket-mongering.

The stateliness of the Mass is being watered down each year by the addition of such things as modern music that tends to detract rather than guide the believers into a state of communication with God within the body of the community. Sure, we're all about enjoying ourselves - but the fact of the matter is, we cannot all enjoy ourselves at the same time because of our very own God-given natures. We simply do not all enjoy the same things. We used to have altar boys who trembled at the thought of detracting from the holiness of the Mass - now we have altar servers in all manners and styles of dress and appearance, and with ever-weakening self-control seemingly determined to draw attention away from the purpose of the Mass to admiration of their own fresh-faced, freshly made-up, newly coiffed, or metal-faced selves.

Being a Christian used to mean conforming oneself to Christ - these days we seem to struggle to force Christianity to be more comfortable for us in all of its guises. We don't want crowded Masses across town at the cathedral - we want our own, cozy, lovey-dovey congregation just far enough away from our homes so that the priest isn't peeking into our backyards and just close enough not to put much interruption into our Sundays by having to travel too much. And we'll take it any way we can get it, even if it means a priest who cannot come to give Last Rites to our beloved dying because his first duty is to a wife - or to her husband or children, God forbid.

Ask any man with a partner, any woman with a child, just how much of their daily time they can devote to their families, let alone God. A member of a religious community, such as a priest or a nun, are a priest or a nun who have devoted 100% of themselves to God and to His Bride, the Church. Of course, this is the ideal, and I'd say all fall short at least some of the time - how much more so, then, if the priest has a spouse and a houseful of children to attend to?

Religious make vows of poverty - this leaves them room to devote all of their personal attention to God. How, then, can a religious properly tend to a family if they've committed that family to a life of poverty? Can he in fact do so? I do not know one single person who wishes for their child to grow up in poverty - and automatically, each parent has a second goal, that of increasing their material state to more adequately provide for their families. A man or woman worried about where the money for new clothes for the kids is coming from, a parent who cannot provide such things as new clothes or expensive medical/dental attention for his loved ones isn't thinking about God, but about where and how to increase his income, even if only temporarily.

Our God is a jealous God - says so, right in the Bible. But while He wants our undivided attention, He also insists that we give proper attention to those in our care. A man's wife, a woman's husband, a parent's child will always come first in their priorities over any parishioner - and those who always put their family last are soon condemned as the worst possible example for a congregation to follow.

Peter and the other apostles and disciples were given very strict instructions before taking up their duties of spreading the Good News - they must forsake all, and take nothing with them for the journey. We HAVE had married clergy - it was disastrous. We HAVE had homosexuality - it lead to perversions amongst the clergy that spilled out onto the laity. We HAVE had sexual freedom - it lead to priests leaving the priesthood because a wife has a RIGHT to all of her husband's attention, and that is very hard to reconcile with the DUTY of giving all of one's attention to the doings of Christ. We HAVE had women who taught the Word, albeit just in the classroom - but the very nature of a woman draws a man's attention away from her words, unless she is shrouded in shape-disguising habits.

Take any of the tenets you don't agree with the Catholic Church away, and you'll find that what remains are the articles of faith for any one or more of a vast number of other denominational congregations, usually termed Protestant. They are called Protestant for a reason - because they Protest against Something in the catechism of the Church. These days, we've given over to a more PC term - Non-Denominational. A false euphemism, that - non-denominational simply means a protestant congregation that refuses to dignify their own particular list of morals and values with a name that is, in their opinion, already negatively associated with tenets unlike their own.

The Catholic Church is hardline for a very good reason - if it ever changes in the ways we lazy, selfish, and personally motivated ninnies want it to, it will cease forever and always to be the Universal Church, and become merely another Protestant congregation whichi will quickly factionalize into unrecognizable groups scattered here and yon.
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