The Archbishop of Birmingham says he is confident Pope Benedict XVI will be able to tackle sensitive issues during his papacy.
Archbishop Nicholls will be in Rome for the installation of the Pope
The Most Reverend Vincent Nicholls says he has complete faith in the Pope's leadership of the church.
The archbishop will travel to Rome for the Pope's installation on Sunday.
As Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI gained a reputation for favouring the conservative views on social issues held by his predecessor, John Paul II.
Archbishop Nichols told BBC News that from the occasions when they met, he found Joseph Ratzinger "a delightful person".
"He's deeply courteous, respectful, charming even. He's not as flamboyant as Pope John Paul II, but he's a man of great, great talent," said Archbishop Nicholls.
"He takes life in a very measured way. I think he will bring great depth and great sensitivity to the papacy."
Archbishop Nicholls counsels against jumping to conclusions about Pope Benedict XVI.
"He now has the freedom to push things in the way that he wants them to go. I'm sure that one of the things he'll ask Catholics is to deepen their faith and take their faith and its challenges seriously.
"But he will be immensely open to all those who are interested in the quest to the truth."