Members of Lubbock's Catholic Diocese watched the announcement of their new pope with much anticipation Tuesday. Lubbock's Bishop Rodriguez was out of town and unable to watch along with fellow members of the Diocese, but he left a statement saying in part: "We offer our heartfelt prayers for and pledge our loyalty to Pope Benedict the XVI. The Catholic Church of Lubbock rejoices with all people of good will."
And rejoice they did. The atmosphere the announcement brought to the Lubbock Diocese is in sharp contrast to the one that followed the passing of Pope John Paul II. For members, this is a very exciting time indeed. Their church is secure, in order, and they have a new universal pastor.
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Leroy Behnke, Director of Communications for the Diocese says, "This particular election surprised me. I know it's inspired by the Holy Spirit. I know he'll do everything in his power to glorify God and praise the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
Alicia Alvarez, with the office of Christian Formation says, "I hope to see him continue to be a Pope for all the world, for everyone, to be visible and nurturing and strong in his believes."
Though surprised by Pope Benedict XVI's election, members of the Lubbock Diocese are pleased with a Pontiff they say will lead decisively. A man who will not leave any grey areas within the doctrines of the church and will face some turbulent times in today's world. Behnke says, "I think his priorities will be peace and holiness and for sure doctrinal clarity. This is a man who does not cut corners and does not mince words." Youth and Young Adult Minister Greg Ramzinski says, "One of the biggest challenges he'll face is smoothing relations between Islam and the rest of the world. Islam is in many ways a very misunderstood faith."
|German Cardinal Ratzinger Elected Pope |
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, the Roman Catholic Church's leading hard-liner, was elected pope Tuesday in the first conclave of the new millennium. He chose the name Benedict XVI and called himself "a simple, humble worker."