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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 April, 2005, 13:10 GMT 14:10 UK
World press split over Pope

Newspapers in some of the regions most affected by the election of the new Pope have reacted in divergent ways to the start of the new era.

In Africa, the issue of the Catholic Church's attitude to the use of condoms and the scourge of Aids is raised. In Latin America, some argue his policies could drive away the faithful, while others feel he could prove an enlightened church leader.

In Turkey, newspapers fret that he is one more obstacle to the country becoming a full member of the EU. In Israel, there is hope his German background will prove beneficial to Israel and Jews worldwide.

Pope Benedict XVI has not only to measure up to and exceed the parameters set out by his predecessor, who made a mark as a diplomat par excellence, but has to muster the courage to break with tradition in some sticking issues that remain synonymous with the Catholic Church...While there is no dispute that the Catholic Church's refusal to yield to demands for an amoral agenda, defined by sexual permissiveness, enjoys great support especially in Africa... the church's stand on the management of Aids is another story altogether.

Kenya's Nation

The moment has come for a country like the Democratic Republic of Congo to have more than a cardinal. It's demographic weight and its energy speak strongly in its favour. It is also the right time to argue in favour of the Republic of Congo, which is the orphan of Cardinal Biayenda, whose assassination came so soon after President Marien Ngouabi himself was assassinated. These events were down to politics. It is not right that the Catholic faithful of this country should suffer. The new Pope therefore has a considerable number of tasks in his in tray. So welcome, Benedict 16th.

DR Congo's L'Avenir

Paradoxically, it is most probably his German background that has made Ratzinger especially sensitive to the Jewish people. One could compare his sensitivity, born of the soul-searching of a man born into German society, with the sensitivity of his predecessor, John Paul II, who was born in Poland, a victim of Nazi Germany... The news of his election is good news for those concerned that relations between the Vatican and Israel, between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people, continue along the road so diligently and fervidly paved by John Paul II.

Comment in Israel's Jerusalem Post

Ratzinger has lately been at the head of the trend which complicated relations between Vatican and Moscow. He was an inspiration behind the ideological expansion of the Catholic Church to the territories which have been the domain of the Russian Orthodox Church for the past 1,000 years.

Russia's Gazeta

Benedict XVI has assumed the post under the sign of an austerity deeply rooted in the institution [of the Catholic Church]. The new Pope will seek to reaffirm the dominion of faith over science, even though this signifies losing sight of advances in human knowledge...In an interview with Jornal do Brasil, Joseph Ratzinger stated that to conciliate between the unity of faith and the multiplicity of cultures isn't conflictive but a task for all who profess the Christian faith. Let that come to pass.

Brazil's Jornal do Brasil

In Latin America, where half the world's Catholics live in a situation of chronic social injustice, a majority laments the election of a conservative Pope who could help to open the door wider for the departure of the faithful.

Comment in Excelsior - Mexico

His continuity and his emphasis on centralisation will provoke a lack of credibility which will become visible over the next few years. The Church is out of step with the world.

Comment in Mexico's El Universal

A Pope who might just surprise us. To anticipate he will prove to be a conservative pope is to fall into a rather serious reductionism. It is to ignore that a Pope is and always will be, because his role demands it, a man who is open to all currents and all the inspirations of the spirit, to all the challenges posed by the timelessness of faith. Joseph Ratzinger is now Benedict XVI. A man who has left behind much. And will probably look at the world, and himself, with new eyes.

Argentina's La Nacion

German Cardinal Ratzinger, who strongly opposes Turkey's EU membership and claims that this will cause loss of wealth and culture, has been elected as the 265th Pope.

Turkey's Milliyet

The Cardinal who does not want Turkey.

Turkey's Hurriyet

By choosing the German cardinal, the Church seems to have chosen to raise fortifications, reaffirm its traditional values... in an era of turbulent social, cultural and technological changes. It is a legitimate and understandable option, but also disappointing for one sector of Catholicism, which was hoping for a leap forward at the start of a new millennium. Maybe his eventual successor will be the person predestined to spearhead great changes in the Church.

Spain's El Mundo

He stands for a Church which has a clear profile and is preserving its identity.

Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung

There couldn't have been a greater honour for Christians in Germany.

Germany's Die Welt

The new pontiff is faced with the difficult task of succeeding the first Pope of the era of globalisation whose extraordinary charisma concealed the fragility of the Catholic Church in a changing world.

France's Le Figaro

With this choice, the Catholic Church need not fear being accused of originality.

France's Liberation

Pope John Paul II has a very long shadow. And the Roman Catholic Church will certainly not be able to escape from it for a while. If for no other reason, simply because Joseph Ratzinger himself has been part of this shadow, and quite a large part of it.

Hungary's Nepszabadsag

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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