Skip to main content

World Reaction to Papal Election

Well-Wishers for Benedict XVI

ROME, APRIL 24, 2005 (Zenit) - Leaders from a variety of faiths and countries issued statements on the election of Pope Benedict XVI. Here is a sample.

-- World religious leaders --

Paul Spiegel, president of the Jewish association in Germany

"I am sure that he will intensify the successful route toward understanding between Christians and Jews to the benefit of both religions."

--- --- ---

Nadeem Elyas, president of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany

He expressed the hope that the new Pope would continue the dialogue between Christians and Muslims. "The cardinal was always John Paul II's right hand and surely contributed much to the opening gaining this priority," the chairman said. As Germans, Muslims were doubly happy about Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's election, he said.

--- --- ---

Lutheran World Federation

"As Pope Benedict XVI prepares to assume his high spiritual and temporal responsibilities, the Lutheran World Federation accompanies him with the prayer that he will be given the grace to continue the ministry of his predecessors in a process of steady renewal, for the benefit of the church universal, and of humanity."

--- --- ---

Samuel Kobia, general secretary of the World Council of Churches

"We give thanks to our common Lord Jesus Christ for granting the Roman Catholic Church a new Bishop of Rome, known for his theological integrity and ecclesial loyalty, his evangelical simplicity and pastoral sensitivity, a successor to Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XV, both known as 'Primates of peace.'

"Your election coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, the great beginning of the modern ecumenical journey within the Roman Catholic Church.

"We pray to our common Lord Jesus Christ, asking that your Pontificate constitute a time for the Roman Catholic Church to apply, in a renewed commitment, the teachings and the spirit of ecumenical openness exemplified in the Second Vatican Council to the life of her faithful and of the whole Church."

--- --- ---

Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev, of Vienna and Austria, representative of the Russian Orthodox Church to the European institutions

"What do I, as an Orthodox bishop living and serving in Europe, expect from the new pontificate?

"First of all, that the Catholic Church continues to preserve its traditional doctrinal and moral teaching without surrendering to pressures from the 'progressive' groups that demand the ordination of women, the approval of the so-called 'same-sex marriages,' abortion, contraception, euthanasia, etc. There is no doubt that Benedict XVI, who has already made his positions on these issues clear, will continue to oppose such groups, which exist both within the Catholic Church and outside it.

"Secondly, I hope that the new pontificate is marked by a breakthrough in relations between the Roman Catholic and the Russian Orthodox Churches, and that a meeting of the Pope of Rome with the Patriarch of Moscow does take place. This meeting must be preceded by concrete steps in the direction of a better mutual understanding, and by careful elaboration of a common position on major dividing issues.

"I hope, next, that there will be a general amelioration in the relations between the Catholic Church and the world Orthodoxy. In 2000 I represented the Moscow Patriarchate at the session of the Joint Catholic-Orthodox Theological Commission, which discussed the question of Uniatism. No agreement on this issue was reached, and the discussion, which was full of frustration, disappointment and bitterness on both sides, ended without a clear decision as to whether the work of the commission would ever be resumed. I hope that under the new pontificate the commission starts again, or that a new commission for bilateral dialogue is formed in order to discuss Uniatism, primacy and other theological and ecclesiological questions which still divide our churches."

--- --- ---

Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia

"I hope that Your Holiness' time as Pope will see the development of friendly relations between our Churches and the fruitful dialogue between the Orthodox and the Catholics. I believe this to be one of Christendom's most crucial tasks. Our Churches, with their authority and influence, must join their efforts in preaching Christian values to the modern mankind. The secular world, losing its spiritual guidelines, finds itself in unprecedented acute need of our common testimony. I hope that Your Holiness' service will contribute to the fulfillment of this task."

--- --- ---

Dr. Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi of the United Kingdom ...

1 | 2  Next Page

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article


Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment

Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 2:18-24
O Senhor Deus disse: ' Não é certo que o homem esteja só. Vou ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 128:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6
[Song of Ascents] How blessed are all who fear Yahweh, who walk ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:2-16
Some Pharisees approached him and asked, 'Is it lawful for a ... Read More

Reading 2, Hebrews 2:9-11
but we do see Jesus, who was for a short while made less than ... Read More

Saint of the Day

October 4 Saint of the Day

St. Francis of Assisi
October 4: Founder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, in ... Read More