Tuesday, April 19

White Smoke

From shooting down Btitish Aircraft to Gods representative on Earth has to be serious shift in career.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, 78, has been chosen to succeed John Paul II as Pope. He will be known as Benedict XVI.
Known for his uncompromising stance the new Pope promises to be a conrovercial leader of the the worlds 1.1 billion Catholics.
Cardinal Ratzinger was born into a traditional Bavarian farming family in 1927, although his father was a policeman.

His studies at the seminary were interrupted during the war when he was drafted into an anti-aircraft unit in Munich.
His supporters say his experiences under the Nazi regime convinced him that the church had to stand up for truth and freedom.

But his critics say he stands for suppressing discussion within the church.

Wolfgang Cooper, a commentator on religious affairs in Germany, said before his election that the cardinal could become a divisive figure.
"I think if Cardinal Ratzinger was pope, a large distance could grow between the leadership of the Church and the faith," he predicted before the result was known.

The cardinal is a "scientist" who "prefers intellectual discussions", says Mr Cooper, whereas many Catholics want priests and bishops "who will touch the hearts".

Cardinal Ratzinger has been a head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - the Vatican's guardian of orthodoxy since 1981.
As such, he has also taken some uncompromising political positions, calling for pro-abortion politicians to be denied communion during the US election campaign for instance, or arguing that Turkey should not be admitted into the European Union.

As the 265th successor to St Peter, he is expected to give the Church a clear, if sometimes radical voice.

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