Here are some key quotes of reaction from around the world to the election of German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the new Pope, Benedict XVI.
GERMAN CHANCELLOR GERHARD SCHROEDER
This is a great honour for Germany.
In Pope Benedict XVI, a Pope has been chosen who knows the
world Church like no one else. He is a great, world-renowned
theologian. Pope Benedict XVI is a worthy successor to Pope John
I congratulate him on behalf of the government and all Germans.
UN SECRETARY GENERAL
brings a wealth of experience to this exalted office. The United
Nations and the Holy See share a strong commitment to peace,
social justice, human dignity, religious freedom and mutual
respect among the world's religions.
The secretary general looks forward to the contributions His
Holiness Pope Benedict XVI will make in strengthening those
US PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH
He is a man of great wisdom and knowledge. He is a man who
serves the Lord.
We remember well a sermon at the Pope's funeral in Rome. His
words touched our hearts and the hearts of millions. We join with
our fellow citizens and millions around the world who pray for
continuous strength and wisdom.
FRENCH PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC
I send Pope Benedict XVI my warmest congratulations and
sincere good wishes for the high mission that has just been
entrusted on the head of the Catholic Church.
ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER SILVIO BERLUSCONI
I certainly express the feelings of all Italians, and am
particularly delighted, when I present Your Holiness with the
warm and respectful homage of the Italian government.
BRITISH PRIME MINISTER
I offer Your Holiness, on the assumption of your high office, congratulations and my very best wishes for the success of your
pontificate. I look forward to continuing our co-operation with the Holy See on issues of international importance such as Africa and
SPANISH PRIME MINISTER
JOSE LUIS RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO
Please receive in the name of the Spanish government and
the people of Spain our warmest congratulations for your
election as Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church and my best
wishes for the Papacy which you begin today.
PORTUGESE PRIME MINISTER
I express my sincere happiness to the Catholic Church for
the choice of the new pope. [I hope] the Pope continues with the
ecumenical spirit [of John Paul II].
CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN QIN GANG
We are willing to improve the relationship between China and
the Vatican on the basis of two principles. One is that Joseph Ratzinger should break off the so-called diplomatic relationship with Taiwan... The second is that Ratzinger should not interfere in internal Chinese affairs. We hope that with a new Pope, the Vatican can create conditions
to improve China-Vatican relations.
SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT THABO MBEKI
Pope Benedict XVI assumes leadership at a critical time in
which the world's collective wisdom and leadership including
that of the religious community is most important to face up to
challenges of deepening poverty and under-development afflicting
many people of the world.
IRISH PRESIDENT MARY MCALEESE
May your acceptance of this tremendous burden of service
bear fruit in our world. May God give you strength for these new
BRITISH GAY RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER PETER TATCHELL
The election of Cardinal Ratzinger as the new Pope is a disaster for women, gay people and liberal humanitarian values.
He represents the hardline, fundamentalist strand of Catholicism, opposing
condoms to prevent the spread of HIV, rejecting women's rights, denouncing
fertility treatment for childless couples and endorsing state-sanctioned
discrimination against gay people.
DUTCH PRIME MINISTER JAN PETER BALKENENDE
He has been portrayed too often as a bogeyman and as a "Panzer Cardinal" by his opponents. It is
very clear the cardinals chose a safe transition... a man with whom they can think: "We can go home safely, the shop in Rome is
in good hands."
PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD ABBAS
We congratulate his Holiness and wish him every success. We hope the strong and historic relations between Palestine and the
Vatican will be as strong as ever and that the Vatican's support for a just peace in the Holy Land will continue.
ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTER SILVAN SHALOM STATEMENT
The foreign minister expresses his hope that this Pope, considering his historical experience, will be especially committed to an uncompromising fight against anti-Semitism.
BRAZILIAN LIBERATION THEOLOGIAN LEONARDO BOFF
It will be difficult to like this pope, because of his positions on the church and on the world.
ARGENTINE THEOLOGIAN RUBEN DRI
This is a triumph for the dogmatic, capitalist right. For me, it is the worst choice they could have made. It combines the worst of John Paul II's papacy without its better characteristics which were his charisma and political skills.
MARIE STOPES INTERNATIONAL, PRO-CHOICE GROUP
It looks like this particular cardinal will continue with the
line on contraception, condoms, and HIV prevention that Pope John
Paul II had.
It's regrettable because that will impact so terribly on the lives of millions of people, particularly in the developing world.
YEMEN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER MUSTAFA NOMAN
We welcome the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the new Pope and hope he will continue the policies of his predecessor in calling for peace and tolerance between religions. We also hope we would continue to call for giving the Palestinian people its right to establish its own state.
UK CHIEF RABBI JONATHAN SACKS
We welcome the new Pope and wish him every success in the daunting challenges that lie ahead.
...We hope that he will continue along the path of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II in working to enhance relations with the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
RAYMUNDO DAMASCENO ASSIS, ARCHBISHOP OF APARECIDA, BRAZIL
He is a person with lots of global knowledge, he is a
person with lots of soul. He is a person who knows the Church's
problems, of the social problems in Brazil; he knows our
J JAVIER ECHEVARRIA, OPUS DEI PRELATE, SPAIN
In my name, and confident I express the opinion of the men and women who make up the prelature of Opus Dei, I guarantee
Benedicto XVI full adherence to his person and his teachings: a profound communion.
MARY GRANT, US SURVIVORS NETWORK OF THOSE ABUSED BY PRIESTS
Ratzinger is a polarising figure to many, who seems to
prefer combativeness to compromise and compassion. Still, we
wish him well.
It's ... crucial that the new pope follow the words and views
of John Paul II who said 'there is no place in the priesthood
for anyone who would harm the young'.