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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Appraising the New Leader of Catholicism

April 20, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, is a man rich in spiritual passion, humility, self-denial and love for the cause of God and of man.

He brings to the papacy a brilliant philosophical and theological mind that has embraced a vision of broad spiritual and ecclesial horizons: personal holiness, missionary outreach combined with constant concern for unity, the necessary integration of spiritual charism and institutional ministry.

His episcopal motto, "Co-worker of the Truth," has guided him in his tireless and uncompromising efforts aimed at defending and promoting the Catholic faith and its morals.

Ratzinger has also worked to encourage studies aimed at increasing knowledge of the faith so that the new problems arising from the progress of science and civilization could be conveniently answered in the light of the word of God. His aim has been to serve the truth, seek to know it ever more thoroughly and make it ever more widely known.

Paul Kokoski

Hamilton, Canada

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It's great that the Catholic cardinals have chosen a pope! After being bombarded with news of the pope for the past couple of weeks, maybe we can now get back to the news that matters (remember, not everyone is a Catholic). I believe there is still a war going on where our young service people and innocent civilians are losing their lives, or has President Bush's mission been accomplished?

Now, if the Michael Jackson case can be settled, maybe people can think about what really makes a difference in most lives: healthcare, unemployment, outsourcing of jobs, a faltering economy, the environment, overpopulation, gas prices and strengthening Social Security and Medicare, not gutting them. What will be the next diversion?

Louise Richardson

San Diego

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Well, now that Cardinal Ratzinger has been given the temporal and spiritual keys of the Catholic Church once held by John Paul II, I guess they won't have to change the locks!

Father Ken Deasy

St. Agatha's Church

Los Angeles

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