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Last Updated: Monday, 4 April, 2005, 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK
Press looks beyond John Paul

Following the tributes to John Paul II, papers across the world ponder what happens next. Some speak of a "vacuum" that his successor will struggle to fill. Others suggest there is much to be done to complete his work on reconciliation with other religions. In Brazil and Nigeria, papers stake a claim for a Pope from the developing world.

A Brazilian Pope. The dream shared by millions of Catholics across the country and by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva too... But Lula's dream is no utopia... "If the future Pope were someone from Latin America, he would be much closer to us, would understand our problems better... Should this come true, I shall be happy, because I will gain an ally in the war against hunger," the president has declared.

Brazil's O Globo

Having systematically lost ground to other religions, the Catholic Church's biggest challenge in the new millennium is to halt the decreasing numbers of its faithful whilst keeping its identity amidst religious diversity.

Brazil's Folha de Sao Paulo

Nearly 65% of Catholics live in Africa, Asia and Latin America. These shifting demographics should not be ignored when choosing the next Pope. Africa has not produced a Pope in 1,500 years... This is a golden opportunity for Africa.

Uganda's New Vision

The charge that will be heard in the next few days as the matter of Pope John Paul II's successor takes centre stage is that the cardinals he ordained, most of them from Latin America, are conservatives who are supposed to ensure this conservative doctrine survives him.

Kenya's Standard

Karol Wojtyla... leaves a vacuum that will be very difficult to fill... Regardless of ideologies and beliefs, and of the many perplexities... arising from his dogmatic firmness and obstinate conservatism on issues of sexuality, his disappearance has left no-one indifferent.

Spain's El Pais

John Paul II's successor... must create new conditions of trust within the Church, but also with the other Christian denominations, with whom true reconciliation will only be possible under a humbler papacy.

Spain's El Periodico

Henceforth no Pope will be able to avoid dialogue with other religions... It will be important for his successor to reopen dialogue.

Germany's Frankfurter Rundschau

The Pope tried to find a way to reconciliation with the Russian Orthodox Church, but he did not succeed in achieving much and this task will now fall to his successor.

Russia's Vedomosti

His humanitarian legacy is glorious, but his religious legacy is problematic. It is reasonable that his successor would want to repair it.

Israel's Yediot Aharonot

His successor enters an uneasy period in which the world is becoming more and more selfish... It will be interesting to see where he will lead his congregation.

Israel's Hatzofe

What will the new Pope's attitude be to the clash of civilisations in this period when the Middle East is being re-formed? ... I hope the new Pope lends an ear to the calls of Muslims [who asked John Paul II to apologise for the Crusades], because this will be the strongest political message that brings the final end to the Crusades.

Turkey's Hurriyet

The world is now mourning for the Pope who caused the collapse of a system and ended the Cold War. A mission which is as historical as his is waiting for his successor - to prevent the "war of civilisations".

Turkey's Sabah

Soon, the new leader of the world's Catholics will be chosen. It has to be seen what approach the world of Christianity opts for. An alliance with warmongers and the opponents of peace is a dead end. Defending the wronged nations of the world and standing alongside the deprived is the unavoidable road to choose.

Iran's Resalat

The passing away of John Paul II will soon leave a huge vacuum for the direction of the Catholic Church, which has 1.1 billion followers across the world. Can the incoming Pope fill the vacuum left behind by John Paul II?

Malaysia's Utusan Malaysia

The Vatican should respect and safeguard China's core national interests and stable development, and take practical action in these two respects to eliminate the basic barriers to improving China-Vatican relations.

Hong Kong's Wen Wei Po

The Vatican must establish diplomatic relations with China and break all diplomatic relations with Taiwan... It is hoped that the new Pope can make a breakthrough towards China and the Vatican establishing diplomatic relations.

Hong Kong's Ta Kung Pao

Sadly, he did not fulfil his wish to visit Hong Kong or the mainland. Differences between Beijing and the Vatican could not be resolved, despite several attempts.

Hong Kong's South China Morning Post

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.

Thousands celebrated Mass in St Peter's Square

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