Hundreds of readers from across the South Asia region have sent us their reaction to the election of Joseph Ratzinger as the new Pope.
Here is a selection of their comments.
The following comments reflect the balance of views received:
I'm certainly for the new Pope but with the hope that he will do something that will ease tensions between Israel and Palestine.
Srinath, Bangalore, India
We go with the election. It was a natural choice and a good one. His blessings are very much required for peace in this materialistic world.
Karthik, Chennai, India
I'm not a Catholic but am so overjoyed that the Church has elected a Pope who will not compromise on the basic principles, morals and standards set by the word of God. In a world which is constantly embracing changing values, what we need is a Christ centred church to teach and to inspire, a solid rock on which to build our future. Prayers and support go out to the new Pope.
HK, Madras, India
I did not suppose that he will become pope, because in my opinion he is one of the conservatives. But anyway, I hope he will open Vatican windows nicely to the world. Congratulations. Viva il papa, viva Benedict XVI.
Agustinus Guntoro, Guntur, India
The Holy Spirit will lead and guide him and all Catholics will pray for him. Yes, the Church needs to be conservative in her values and teachings on pro-life issues. I do not believe in women priests either!
Linda Le, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I liked John Paul II. Although Benedict XVI was 'the enforcer' of the late Pope, I am not favourably inclined towards him. I was fervently looking towards a Pope who would reform the Church. But I am disappointed. I pray that Ratzinger may change his views and uncompromising dogmatic positions.
Sebastian, Bangalore, India
Pope Benedict XVI, he is chosen by God and God will use him in the best way for the people. With God, he will be good leader.
Philip Lian, Myanmar (Burma)
I'm sure that the cardinals have chosen the right man for the job. Besides, it is not for the flock to choose or comment on their master!
The choice of Cardinal Ratzinger is great. He has been with Pope John Paul II. I think he can continue the good work of his successor.
William Rozario, Dhaka, Bangaldesh
That's all we needed, another conservative old cardinal to throw Christianity back to the last century. I find myself drifting further and further away from all the ideals these Popes stand for. Over time I have managed to separate Popes and their business from Christ and what he means for me. No single person should be allowed to elevate to such immense power, because ultimately he's one human being with his own convictions.
Joseph Antony, New Delhi, India
With Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope, all I can say is, having followed the fortunes of the Roman Catholic Church in India for some time, there will be more liberals leaving the Church, no hope for women's voices to be heard in the pulpit, more alienation of the sexual minorities, and greater troubles for the moderates. But the Church will survive in spite of Pope Benedict.
Frank Krishner, Gantok, Sikkim, India
I wish all the best for the new Pope. In my opinion this is not the best option but I hope this will not be translated as another blunder this century.
Santosh Varughese, India
I am a protestant, but very happy about the new Pope. His words, "The cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble worker in the Lord's vineyard" are really touching.
Martin, Chennai, India
I think choosing a conservative Pope will have not so good implications for Catholicism. I just hope the Catholics are able to believe in him as they did in JP II
Sourabh Sharma, Singapore
Well spoken cardinals - I am sure Benedict XVI will continue the trend that encourages the faithful to listen avidly to the words of the Holy Father.
Peter Filicietti, Thailand
Ratzinger's speech before the conclave spelled out where he stood - the position of affirming the faith. Cardinals and ordinary voters in critical times - choose - man with convictions and faith. The right choice for the Church.
Ed Tan, Manila Philippines
I'm happy as now we have our new Pope and I believe Pope Benedict XVI will be able to lead all of us for a better peace world.
Gregorius G. Suharsono, Indonesia
A great, holy and humble man - there was no one more worthy than he.
Callista, Melbourne, Australia