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Last Updated: Friday, 22 April 2005, 20:23 GMT 21:23 UK
The new Pope: Your reaction
Pope Benedict XVI
This is a third page of your comments about the election of Pope Benedict XVI.

The third page of your comments:

This new Pope should stick to the Bible to the letter and resist all calls for him to modernise or move with the times
Tom Franklin, London, UK
This new Pope should stick to the Bible to the letter and resist all calls for him to modernise or move with the times. Any religious basis is immune to time, it is immune to cultural whims, it's rules should be set in stone. If any religious follower doesn't like it, then they should leave that religion.
Tom Franklin, London, UK

The Pope acknowledges his limitations as a human being but trusts God and the support of the Christians to lead the Church in the truth.
Prudent Gatera, Kigali, Rwanda

Magnificent!!! It was clear at the sensitivity and emotion he displayed whilst conducting Pope John Paul II's funeral that he was an outstanding candidate. A truly magnificent choice.
Duncan French, Capua, Italy

Though I may disagree with some of what Benedict XVI stands for, I'm delighted to see that the Catholic church will be headed by someone who is happy to challenge the public opinion in favour of Christian ethics.
Ben Goudie, Wakefield, England

To make up for his lack of liberalism he has to fight for social and cultural issues. This is the only way he will be more appealing to the world
Adriana, Brazil

If it's not my choice...I don't mind because I believe it was the will of God and God has appointed him to lead his Church. I urge all Christians and Catholics in particular, to pray for him. This is a critical time that needs nothing but prayers. May God guide us and be with us always.
Iyke Okafor, Aba, Nigeria

I probably wouldn't have gone for him, but I'm not the Holy Spirit. Those of Catholics who are uneasy about him must recognise that the Holy Spirit may be a better chooser of popes than we are
David Hughes, Estepona, Spain

How can we judge someone whose work has not started yet?
Rene Diaz, Panama, Panama
How can we judge someone whose work has not started yet? He did a great job with John Paul II. Please let's have patience and let the man do his job.
Rene Diaz, Panama, Panama

Let us all join hands in prayer for the pope Benedict XVI to do a good job for all the Catholics and the whole world. Like he said, he is the messenger of God and its God's will for him to be the next pope after John Paul II.
Gape Ntwe, Gabs, Botswana

Predictable, or am I cynical, him leading the funeral of John Paul II told me he was next in line. Why ever would you choose such an old man?
Hazel Day, Swindon, England

Benedict XVI will lose even more Catholics than has occurred recently. His conservative stances on celibacy and the place of women in the Church will certainly sound the death knoll for the church in the developed nations of the world.
Richard Higginbotham, Stafford, VA, USA

A surprise for us in Germany, some of us are critical, but nevertheless its a day of joy. Benedict XVI was a progressive man after the second Vatican council. The youth of Germany is waiting for him this year. The very progressive German church will be full of expectations. Ratzinger himself is a very modest man. He seemed to be very happy and relaxed. We will learn from him, if we really listen, I hope we can agree with him as well.
Stefan, Aachen, Germany

I have not got anything against the new Pope but a Pope from another continent would have been a good message out there.
Ghislain Mahoro, Coventry, UK

I am saddened by some of the comments from people who see the election of Benedict XVI as a return to the dark ages for the Catholic Church. He was the right hand man for John Paul II and this means that some of his views may have made it into the last pontificate. I think only Europe and the US have a problem with a more conservative and traditional pope.
Jodi-Ann Quarrie, Portmore, Jamaica

Age and colour and race should not be either a hindrance or a goal
Stuart, UK
Age and colour and race should not be either a hindrance or a goal. As always it is about choosing the RIGHT person for the job. Here the cardinals have elected a continuance of Pope John Paul II's legacy and also someone that will not be Pope for too long! Method to the madness perhaps.
Stuart, UK

Maybe instead of the Church having to change in order to adjust to the way of the modern world, rather one might consider whether the modern world is the one that needs to do some changing by observing the word of God.
Jason, Detroit, USA

As a young Catholic, I was hoping for a more liberal Pope. The choice of Ratzinger has however confirmed that the Catholic Church is a conservative institution and does not intend to alter its views and image. This is unfortunate because it will do little do bring people back to the Catholic faith since it is already so out of step with the times on many issues.
Ines, Toronto, Canada

It is annoying to see people complain about a man who has not yet spoken for more than three minutes. Joseph Ratzinger is no longer a cardinal, but our Pope. As Catholics, he is the messenger elected not just by the cardinals but by God, to make assumptions and complain about the leader of our faith chosen by God is not what it is to be Catholic. Our new Pope is the same "Rock" of the church that Peter was. For those who want a liberal Pope, you should stick to politics - this isn't a general election.
Sean, England

Clearly Ratzinger was chosen as an interim Pope. The good thing is we know who he is and what he stands for. On a doctrinal viewpoint, the Church is in good hands. The bad thing is I don't think he has what it takes to disseminate a much-needed spirit of revival throughout the Church.
Michel Prud'homme, Libreville, Gabon, Africa

I really thought the Catholic Church would take this opportunity to elect a pope that would better represent its people. What a shame to elect such a conservative person to lead the Catholic Church.
Elizabeth, Minneapolis, MN

Though many people are shocked that the pope is 78 as well as European, he was chosen by cardinals from all over the world to become the Pope, and is therefore the best choice in this situation. I am excited to see this worthy successor take his place in the long line of Popes.
Sydney Pertl, Washington, USA

It might be the Lord's will that a conservative leads the Church into the 21st century. Whereas the world is changing, the Church should stay true to itself and its traditions.
Kayla, Vancouver, Canada

I have never expected to see an election for a new Pope. I'm Catholic and I was born the same year that John Paul II was elected, he has been the only Pope I have ever known, and I empathised a lot with him and his immense message of love and tolerance. I just wish God, the Virgin Mary and the late John Paul II watch over our new Pope and let him be as unforgettable as the one we have just lost.
Vanessa Granados, Guatemala, City

Great. Another intolerant visionary to make the gap between faiths and cultures even wider.
Jose Navarro, Bristol

If people are unhappy with this they should change religion
Richard van Lente, London

Historic Catholic teachings and the Gospels state clearly what Catholics should believe and follow. Just because Benedict XVI is reverting to original Catholic teachings does not make him conservative, it just makes him true to Catholicism. If people are unhappy with this they should change religion.
Richard van Lente, London

Why are some people already concluding on a journey that has just started? Though not a Catholic, I still hold tremendous hope and faith that anybody God allows to be pope will ultimately empower for the good of all. So people, the jury is still out. Okay?
Nwanneakolam Vwede-Obahor, Nigeria

Great choice. He will uphold the doctrines and truths of the Catholic Church and hold the line on the liberal infiltration.
Mary Jo Roe, USA

A bit disappointed with the election. I was expecting a younger, modern looking Pope, especially concerned about the problems of the poor, women and HIV/Aids. It looks like John Paul II is more powerful in death than when he was alive.
Francis Arackal, Rome, Italy

I do not like the fact that so many people are judging the new pope so soon, I say give him a chance. I'm sure that he would not have been elected if they didn't think he was going to be good for the Catholic Church. God Bless Pope Benedict XVI.
Gerry Boyle, Motherwell , Scotland

If the church wants to expand its base it needs to move forward not remain stagnant
Don Twardowski, USA

The decision was made far too quickly. There should have been more debate on how the choice will affect the modern world instead of continuing to base decisions on the past. If the church wants to expand its base it needs to move forward not remain stagnant.
Don Twardowski, Franklin, NC, USA

Another slide backwards - probably helps in understanding the position of present day Christianity, but makes progress towards a compassionate and fairer world even more difficult.
Mike, Cape Town, South Africa

As far as I can tell there aren't any honking cars and cheering crowds on the streets. I guess the majority of Germans and German Catholics in particular would have preferred a more 21st century man to become pope, no matter of what origin.
Heiko, Germany

God bless the Pope! It is the Holy Spirit's choice.
Marek, Gdynia, Poland

The choice was not ours to make in the first place, it is guided by something beyond that of our own mortal understanding
Audrey, UK

What a way of welcoming a new pope, the cynicism, the disapproval. The choice was not ours to make in the first place, it is guided by something beyond that of our own mortal understanding. There are some perspectives that I might not agree with, but in this ever fickle world, it is indeed refreshing to have a bit of consistency. Anyhow, we are called to obedience and accept the decision. Let's not be negative about the new pope but instead give him our support. God bless Pope Benedict XVI.
Audrey, UK

God bless the new Pope, Benedict XVI! I hope he will step closer to the unity between the Catholic and the Orthodox Church.
Tudor Rebengiuc, Bucharest, Romania

I am a Muslim and I congratulate the new Pope, Benedict XVI. I wish all the best to his followers. May God give peace to all.
Akhtar Hossain, Khulna, Bangladesh

The Lord chose him through his colleagues and I hope he leaves behind his so-called conservative ideas and brings the world together, regardless of religion and race.
Delaw, Freetown, Sierra Leone

I can't wait to meet the New Pope at the World Youth Day in August. Quite fittingly, it's in Germany so I'm sure he'll receive a huge welcome!
Luke O'Sullivan, Swansea, Wales

As a Catholic who knows all too well we need a change, I can't imagine why this man. My children and grandchildren are walking away from the uptight attitude of the church. Now I shall limp away as well.
Marie, Finland

I cannot shake the feeling that this has been a rash decision as opposed to a unified one
EJ Legaspi, Manila, Philippines

I cannot shake the feeling that this has been a rash decision as opposed to a unified one. He was too much of an obvious choice. Even if the trend was leaning towards conservatism, a non-European conservative pope would have been more of a unifying decision.
EJ Legaspi, Manila, Philippines

I'm upset with the election of this new pope as he seems to be very conservative. It would have been nice if the new pope was from Africa or Asia as this would further help to breakdown the religion and racism barriers started during John Paul II's time.
Concetta Ragno, Italy

Blessings to the new Pope, God willing he will lead us all on a good path. My greetings from Venezuela.
Lucidio Mrales, Venezuela

The cardinals could not have done any worse. The choice of a right wing cardinal as Pope may be appropriate at other times, but definitely isn't appropriate at this point in history. I think it also remains to be seen just how charismatic a leader he really is...
Jan Wagner, Bremen, Germany

I was hoping that the new pope would be non-European but I think the cardinals were afraid to scare away the Europeans from the church. But are western church pews not already empty?
Ken Jawoko, Toronto

One Pope's reign is not going to end the Catholic Church, but I feel that this specific Pope's term will do little to advance its role. The Church's rhetoric is stuck in the Middle Ages, where large families were insurance against the ravaging forces of nature; modern technology has reversed the situation - perhaps the Church should change its tune. Benedict XVI is certainly not the man to lead this new song.
Warren Cass, Montreal, Canada

Let's wait, pray and have faith
Maria Vaz, Lisbon, Portugal

A new Pope has been chosen by men through God's hand. Let's pray for him and help him in this difficult task. We the Catholics have the obligation of belief in him and give him the benefit of the doubt against all the things that have been said about him. Who can guarantee that the most conservative candidate does not become a great Pope and a great man in the history of the Church and of the world? Let's wait, pray and have faith. May Good bless him.
Maria Vaz, Lisbon, Portugal

It is important to remember that the Pope is just a person. As such, the new Pope should (through his reputation as a scientific Cardinal) be able to promote good will and faith through rational argument, and therefore hold the Church together.
Catherine Cox, Croydon

I couldn't be happier! Benedict XVI will be a great pope and a major influence over the world's one billion Catholics. I for one am pleased he has been elected and proud to have him as my pope. May God bless him always.
Katie, Oxford

I'm very pleased with newly elected Pope, but not sure others are
Kirstyann Weir, Falkirk, Scotland
Mixed opinions. I'm very pleased with newly elected, but not sure others are. If he wasn't deemed fit to be put forward, surely he wouldn't be where he is now? God bless him.
Kirstyann Weir, Falkirk, Scotland

God bless Pope Benedict XVI.
Joanne, Canada

By electing an arch-conservative as Pope, the cardinal's conclave has made a profound mistake. A rigidly conservative leader who favours suppression of dissenting discussion within the Church and supports absolute Vatican control of the hearts and minds of its priesthood is not what the Church needs today. This move will only serve to accelerate the already massive migration of believers away from Catholicism.
Doug Frost, San Francisco, USA

I am not Catholic but it seems unfortunate that the Catholic Church has not taken this opportunity to appoint a successor who is more progressive. I am disappointed to read the new Pope's views on women and the church.
Kerrie, London

Could this be a stopgap Pope? At 78-years-old he will not reign for very long, thus giving the cardinals more time to find someone who is more responsive to modern day needs. If this is not the case, then I feel a huge error of judgement has taken place.
Freda, Scotland

Terrible choice. So many other more qualified choices from other parts of the world, yet it remains a white, Eurocentric church in the Vatican. The Catholic Church just missed a grand opportunity!
Chuck, Silver Spring, USA

Disappointing that it's not someone more radical. However, he has a hard act to follow and perhaps they chose one of the older cardinals for that very reason - it is likely to be a short papacy and the reforming voices can be heard after Benedict's reign rather than directly after John Paul's.
Ken, Scotland

We can't say anything, but we can only pray and hope that Pope Benedict XVI will do great things for Catholics and all others across the world.
Mario, Sarajevo

It means Germany will win the World Cup, and it could be good for German unemployment figures which are at an all time high. The Papal visit to Berlin has already been approved.
Eddie Punch, Freiburg, Germany

What a catastrophe! This choice of an ultra conservative will continue the turning back of the clock as far as progress in the Church is concerned. No wonder so many Catholics reject the doctrines of an institution run by old men who are incapable of identifying with real life.
Julie-Ann, Paris, France

I think the Church has avoided the opportunity to push the boundaries of our time
Chris, Lincolnshire, UK
As a protestant, the issue of a new Pope does not concern me as much as might a Catholic, but nevertheless, I think the Church has avoided the opportunity to push the boundaries of our time and elect a Pope who could have a positive impact on society. I fear that the Catholic Church has some hard times ahead.
Chris, Lincolnshire, UK

Benedict is a transition Pope, considering his age. I hope the conclave will elect a liberal next time and get in touch with people. He sounds like he'll be as conservative as John Paul II.
Jon Morris, Liverpool, UK

Good grief, how could the cardinals have elected someone so conservative, so intolerant of theological pluralism, so out of touch with the spirit of ecumenism?
Ravi de Alwis, Dehiwala, Sri Lanka

The powerful in the church obviously don't want another Pope who will live a long time or rock the boat.
Ian Jones, Knoxville, USA

While Pope John Paul II was a very positive influence on the Church, I think it was time for a swing towards the middle. Ratzinger's views have me more than a bit concerned. I hope becoming Pope has a moderating influence.
Jeff, California, USA

He seems like he's reasonably conservative. I'd like a Pope who's going to do something to stop the spread of AIDS, but will we get that? And is Benedict XVI as good an ambassador for his faith as John Paul II was?
Niall Spooner-Harvey, London

It is with great joy that I open my heart to Benedict XVI but also with great sadness I read how people are so quick in judging him.
Munir, Las Vegas, USA

Such unexpected speed in the conclave. I am happy that the church has a leader; however I am concerned about the direction of the church. What we need now is flexibility and I'm afraid we will not find it in Benedict XVI.
Erik, Seattle, USA

I think the Church made the right decision by choosing Ratzinger as Pope
Amine Salihovic, Sarajevo, Bosnia
I'm glad the new Pope is not Italian. I think the Church made the right decision by choosing Ratzinger as Pope. He is conservative but religion is always conservative. Should we change religion just because some people are getting more liberal and are not religious as they used to be?
Amine Salihovic, Sarajevo, Bosnia

Wish him the best, if he gets on with global issues, trade injustice, human rights, governance and other issues that matter. Perhaps less on what people should do with their personal lives.
George Ochieng, Kandaria, Kenya

Instead of a leap forward, we go back to the 19th Century. Maybe it's me, and our world is turning backwards and I have not yet acknowledge this.
Estela Dominguez, Buenos Aires, Argentina

I am atheist, but I am disappointed. The Catholic Church needs to leave Europe, and show it is really a universal church. If the papa went Latin-American or African, it would show for the world which is the great papa of the Catholic Church.
Gil Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Even as a non-Catholic, there's a sinking feeling within me as the Church turns its back on the one opportunity it had to reverse the decline of Catholicism in Europe. Another conservative hardliner has been elected who, one imagines, will make little or no attempt to reach out to a changing and increasingly liberal Europe.
Hugo Soul, Dorset, UK

I am disappointed that such an old Pope has been chosen. This may affect his ability to travel, especially in later years.
Merran, Edinburgh

I hope and pray that Pope Benedict XVI will continue to work from where the Great Pope John Paul II has left off.
Renu, Toronto

I wish him well, but what a shame a younger more progressive candidate was not selected. How many years before we go through this all again?
Ollie, Oxford

Time will tell whether this is a good decision
Tony Hodges, London
Time will tell whether this is a good decision. On the one hand the church needs a strong leader with fundamental values who does not bend easily to ideas and practices that are flavour of the moment, but not to the extent of stifling progressive positive new ideas.
Tony Hodges, London

Pope Benedict XVI is 78-years-old; he is popular and very humane. Even though he is conservative and has strong views on things I don't, he will be able to stabilise the Papacy and the Church. Then a new radical Pope can take over.
Nathan P Bridle, Hertfordshire

This was precisely the correct decision. The Church must not, can not, move with the times as previous posters suggest. It has a message to send, and that message is the same today as it was 2,000 years ago.
Fred Woods, Washington, DC

If he's good enough for the Holy Spirit, he's good enough for me. Selecting this new Vicar of Christ demonstrates once again that the Church is principally a spiritual institution, not a political one.
Joe, Kitchener, Canada

Ratzinger will not bring the people back that have lost their faith. People have been alienated by the Church's conservative policies and this Pope's views will not reverse the damage that has been done.
Stephen Knox, Belfast, Northern Ireland

This is the man who urged US bishops to deny communion to John Kerry and other politicians supporting a woman's right to choose, calls homosexuality a tendency toward "intrinsic moral evil," and prosecuting paedophile priests a "plot against the church." Unfortunately, the last thing the Church needs is a Pope stuck in the middle ages. He should be declared persona non grata in the US.
Nick, Tampa, USA

What a disappointment.
Jonathan, Paris, France

I am so very disappointed. I'm not a Catholic, but I fear that the election of this man will cause a fair amount of regression in the church and maybe the world. His stance on religious plurality alone is nothing short of narrow-minded and sad.
Karen, College Station, Texas

The cardinals may have been reluctant to make a radical choice at this time
Ernesto Salas, Boca Raton, USA
I think the cardinals have made a transitory choice. The Pope's advanced age will probably not guarantee a long papacy. The cardinals may have been reluctant to make a radical choice at this time, so went for the already authoritative Ratzinger. It is not surprising they could agree quickly on him, since most already considered him absolutely capable of carrying the Church's leadership. I'm not too sure the cardinals were too interested in remaining theologically attractive to the southern hemisphere flock. Rather, I think they wanted some kind of continuity before moving along to a more radical choice. God Bless the Pope and give him wisdom and courage to lead the Church. It won't be easy and this will surely require the last drop of his energies as he'll stand in the shadow of arguably one of the most influential popes of all times.
Ernesto Salas, Boca Raton, USA

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