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 April the 22nd, 2005

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger the new Pope,
named Pope Benedict

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, 78, was elected the 265th Pope Tuesday and took the name Benedict XVI.

The name he took - Benedict - draws a connection to Benedict XV, the Italian pontiff from 1914 to 1922 who was known for efforts to close the nearly 1,000-year Schism with Christian Orthodox churches.

St. Benedict of Nursia, is recognized as the founder of western monasticism, and as one of the patron saints of Europe, along with the Greek Saints Methodius and Cyril.

The new Pope on important topics

Social life and the Church

To remind people that we are capable of discerning what is good for humanity and what is destructive, what constitutes respect for life, what the gift of marriage and family really are, and what love is, becomes a service and a blessing to our generation. Truth and compassion are two sides of the same coin.

Church and politics

The Church must make claims and demands on public law and cannot simply retreat into the private sphere." He said that the fundamental political task of the Church is to make sure that the state has a conscience. Where the Church itself becomes the state freedom becomes lost. But also when the Church is done away with as a public and publicly relevant authority, then too freedom is extinguished, because there the state once again claims completely for itself the jurisdiction of morality.

On “conservatism”

Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the church, is often labelled today as a fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and 'swept along by every wind of teaching,' looks like the only attitude acceptable to today's standards.
We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one's own ego and one's own desires.

On EU- Turkey Issue

In an interview with the French magazine Le Figaro last year, he suggested Turkey's bid to join the Europe Union conflicted with Europe's Christian roots.
``Turkey has always represented a different continent, in permanent contrast to Europe,'' he said.

On the Church's sex abuse scandals

In the Church, priests also are sinners. But I am personally convinced that the constant presence in the press of the sins of priests is a planned campaign, as the percentage of these offences among priests is not higher than in other categories, and perhaps it is even lower.
Church’s sex scandals are constant news on this topic, but less than 1 percent of priests are guilty of acts of this type. The constant presence of these news items does not correspond to the objectivity of the information nor to the statistical objectivity of the facts.
I think the essential point is a weakness of faith.