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I feel next to history, my wife and her sisters were confirmed by the then Bishop Ratzinger in Bavaria. They report that he is a very kind and down to earth man. Hardliner? That means he believes in Catholic teaching.

Not being Catholic, I should buy a lotto ticket today.;^)

Since Ratzinger is 78, this is an almost-going-away present to the head of the College of Cardinals. They know they'll be appointing a new pope in a few years. Also, they may be reluctant to appoint a young pope, knowing that the younger the pope, the longer he'll reign.

Congratulations to our German Catholic friends

Wait for the first media breach of Godwin's law.
I reckon tommorrow mornng.
"Well he learnt his methods during the war whilst a member of the Hitler Youth."

I'm relieved - and very happy for my Catholic friends.

But on this side of the pond, they're already trying to portray him as a Nazi. How utterly comtemptable.

This American Jew thinks we will need him in the fight with Islamofacism, moral and spiritual relativism, and the loss of what it means to stand for something besides nihilism.

I think today perhaps we ALL have a Pope.

I am an American Lutheran in Boca of essentially the same age than the Holy Father. I pray that he can bring Germany back into the fold of Christendom with the help of all the still faithful German Christians.

God forgive those who would besmirch his youth for him having born at the wrong time in the wrong country. Amen

Peter P. Haase
Boca Raton, Florida

A great honor for Germany? When in the last 20-30 years has Germany as a whole cared a bit for the teachings of the Catholic church, or any other church? Even in the historically Catholic portions of southern Germany, there are very few practicing Catholics left. Neither the German government or people did anything to stand by that Italian EU minister candidate who was thrown to the wolves last year after saying that he didn't approve of homosexuality, but he could enforce non-discrimination policies that the EU had in place.

Before long, the mass of Germany will view Pope Benedict's positions on the importance of faith in personal and civic life, abortion, homosexuality, premarital sex, women in the priesthood, euthenasia and birth control will be openly dismissed as somewhere between quaint and dangerously backward. Unless the new Pope wants to start denouncing the "Anglo-Saxon" form of capitalism, or U.S. political or military policy, next to nobody in Germany will listen to him.

In the end this will be about as big an honor and about as important in the long term as Franke Potente winning an Oscar for her next film role.

@ Bob
Yes, the 20th is (as my 70+ year old German landlord says in utter disgust) that "Austrian's" birthday.

@ DL in HD
Very interesting piece.

I heard Jim Bitterman on CNN Internation last week say that Ratzinger's nickname was the "Panzer Cardinal". And Stalin wondered cynically how many divisions the Pope had, LOL!

whoever runs this site or at least moderates its comments, please strike my comment above; it was a moment of pique.

Note from David: Deleted it. The reference to this other guy's birthday was weird, but interesting...

My happiness for Germany today... a great country! My prayers are for this New Pope Benedit XVI to bestow great blessings among the German and European citizens... I knew you would have the scoop today, Davids. I hope you don't mind the link.

There is already a controversy.
John Kerry wants a recount.

Congratulation to the German Catholics and Catholics around the world.

From another Iraqi Catholic.

Well, according to the Left of center media in the US (the anti Bush journalists) tomorrow's headlines will read "Arch Conservative German becomes Pope" or "First Nazi Pope". The pro-Bush gleichgeschaltet press will probably write "1st German Pope in 1,000 Years". The nerve of those cabalistas to write something like that right after the Speigel article (catalog #200503).

The next few days watching the intelligencia work around this split is going to be very entertaining. I wonder how the French will take it?

gedruckte Ausgabe
vom 20.04.2005

Ressort: Politik

"Der neue Papst
Meisterdenker des Dogmas

Von Martin Gehlen

Die Entscheidung fiel schnell – mutig ist sie nicht. Die Wahl von Joseph Ratzinger zum neuen Papst zeigt nach rückwärts, verweigert eine Antwort auf die Zeichen der Zeit und kann angesichts seines Alters bestenfalls als eine taktische Lösung gelten. Die Kardinäle gaben ihr Votum für einen Mann, der bei seiner Predigt unmittelbar vor dem Einzug ins Konklave seine pessimistische Weltsicht noch einmal in ganzer Schärfe ausgebreitet hat. Er begreift die Zeit, in der er lebt, als eine „Diktatur des Relativismus, die nichts als endgültig anerkennt und als das letzte Maß aller Dinge nur das eigene Ich und dessen Gelüste versteht“. Was aber hat dies mit den Herausforderungen zu tun, vor der die Welt heute steht? Wie will die katholische Kirche mit diesem Mann an der Spitze darauf antworten?

Die 115 Kardinäle wagten es nicht, nach dem Pontifikat von Karol Wojtyla dem innereuropäischen endlich auch den globalen Perspektivenwechsel folgen zu lassen. ...

... kein Signal der Ermutigung, sondern weiterer Enttäuschung. ... Und unter seiner Regie wird die römische Kurientheologie ihre hoch gezüchteten Prinzipienproduktion der letzten Jahre weiter ausbauen. Der Neue wird – so steht zu befürchten – die theologischen Schrauben noch strammer anziehen und seine Herde mit Instruktionen, Mahnschreiben und Enzykliken auf seine misstrauisch-konservative Linie einschwören.

... zwar von überragenden Fähigkeiten und scharfem Geist, aber ohne Charisma und unbefangene Lebensfreude. ... Er steht für ein blutleeres Weiter-so, nicht für einen frischen Start oder gar ein neues katholisches Koordinatensystem.

... Dabei müsste in einer Zeit, wo die wählenden Purpurträger inzwischen in 52 Ländern zuhause sind, der Bischofssitz von Rom eigentlich ein globales Profil annehmen.
Die Wahl von Joseph Ratzinger trägt der Realität keine Rechnung."


Dark and pessemistic words in The TAGESSPIEGEL. Mißtrauisch-konservativ! "Conservative" is a bad thing in Germany.




I wish I could find one point of contention within your post to argue...but sadly I can't. Maybe some will find solace and new hope but I think, even short-term, those that do will be tragically disappointed. In fact it may be catalytic in accelerating German immigration, just as van Gogh's murder proved to be.

Not knowing a word of Polish, I'm at least happy that I share some modicrum of understanding of this Pope's native language. Hurray for the Bundespapst!

@Steve: Do you think that maybe the Cardinals had this in mind when the chose a Western European Pope? Somebody that can go into Germany and other Western Europe countries and say "Look, I'm one of you"? And, of course the next question is, if that was the motivation, will it work? Looking at it from the distance across the pond, I don't have a good feel for it.

How will Benedict XVI help old Europe? There will be no room for women; gays and lesbians are excluded; priests can forget about marriage. The decline of the church in Europe will only accelerate.


Just as Europe will continue to only accelerate in its decline.

Perfect would you not say?

Congratulations to the community of German Catholics for bringing to us this man of strength, faith and humility. May God bless him and the Holy Spirit fill him with His gifts.
"Papa Ratzi" will need a thick hide. The Youth Day event in Cologne will be awesome - the ultimate "local boy does good" story.

The first German pope in a thousand years...

The signs are all around, yet still you disbelieve? The Empire will soon be restored. An expedition early yesterday to the top of Kyffhäuserberg found it was EMPTY. The Schröder Bundesregeirung is in a quiet state of panic. After his centuries long slumber deep inside the mountain, it appears that Kaiser Friedrich Barbarossa has finally reawakened. Even now Kaiser Barbarossa walks among us, searching for his throne, bewildered at this strange place his subjects dare to call "Germany".

I suspect the mainstream media hopes their surveys will portray this new pope as a devisive hardliner. The NBC affiliate in Seattle called me this morning with questions that seemed intended to put him in a bad light, questions of the "will people leave" and "will priests become even scarcer" sort. None asking "do you think he is warm and kind."

At least my answers will make it a bit harder to spin their survey in the way they want.

--Mike Perry, UntanglingTolkien

Sharp analysis by Anne Applebaum in the WaPo:

"It sounds paradoxical, given the European splendor in which the church has been cloaked for the past several weeks -- the scenes of Rome, St. Peter's Square, the Sistine Chapel -- but nevertheless it is not Africa, or Latin America, or even the rebellious United States that poses the greatest set of difficulties for the Catholic Church at the moment. It is Europe itself.

By this I don't mean merely that church attendance is falling in Italy and Spain, as is often reported, or that birth control is widely used among European Catholics. Although there is plenty of religious apathy in Europe, it is far less powerful than the antipathy directed not just at the Catholic Church in Europe but at religion in general. It's not that Europeans think the church is out of touch or backward, but that they -- or rather an influential group of intellectuals and politicians -- heartily despise everything about it. Some of this was visible yesterday. Within hours of his election a BBC profile had already speculated that the new pope had honed his rhetorical skills in Nazi Germany (he deserted the Wehrmacht at age 15) while some on the German left were describing his election as a "catastrophe." I expect we'll hear far worse insults in the next few days"


In 2002 the radical lefties used a smear campaign of lies and false impressions to prevent a conservative catholic from Bavaria to become chancellor of Germany. It is somehow ironic that now the most important and best known German in the world is a conservative catholic from Bavaria. The 115 Cardinals in Rome did not care for the wishes of Joschka Fischer and his friends of the 68 er generation. The did not fall for the liberal propaganda of the left wing German and International media, they made their decision based on what is in the best interest of the Roman Catholic Church. Sadly the German people in 2002 did not vote based on what was in the best interest of Germany .

Christian (Proud to be German )

I hate hypocrisy more than anything, and don't understand how so many can seemingly unwittingly live and propagate a lie. The BBC, leftist activists, etc., who hastily brand the new Pope a "conservative" or worse, and point out his Nazi roots are the very same people who called Arafat a "moderate", justify Bin Laden, and preach that sex offenders can be rehabilitated (presumably a man of God cannot) and released. Makes me sick.

This just in...The Pope is Catholic. What a surprise.

It appears that all of European intelligensia was expecting, perhaps, to choose, themselves, a Pope of their own preference. The Holy Spirit chooses the Pope. Non-Catholics liberals should be so foolish as to believe that the Catholic Church will change doctrine to suit social policy in European countries. Better the Church should please God and stand on the principles they believe in whether the rest of the world likes it or not. God will prevail in the end, people...not opinion writers in leftist Europe.

"In Israel wurde besorgt an die Zeit Joseph Ratzingers in der Hitlerjugend erinnert, doch wurde zugleich sein Eintreten gegen Antisemitismus hervorgehoben." aus welt.de/AP


Really? I wonder why this article in DIE WELT does not mention the media in UK (BBC like Phil mentioned) who started this theme about Hitlerjugend.

I did not check all media worldwide but I have my doubts that it is Israel what worries about the youth of the new Pope.

To mention only Israel and then Israel as a whole is not right. People who will read this, will think, that Israel = the Jews never stop to talk about the Holocaust and nazi Germany.

I wonder, when we would analyze the media, where will be the most articles about this theme.

Gee, He's German, He's christian and he has a job. The man has already beat the odds! As they say "When in Rome do as the Vandals do".

Personaly I'm a follower of Martin Luther's Roman Holiday. Congradulations to are Catholic friends. It was also good to see the Eastern Orthodox represented at John Paul's funeral.

im confuzzed does n e one have a time line for Pope Benedict XVI??

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