Bishop Cooney's Statement on Election of Pope Benedict XVI
STATEMENT OF BISHOP PATRICK R. COONEY
ON THE ELECTION OF POPE BENEDICT XVI
"Its a very, very big day! I was waiting with the rest of the world in anticipation and excitement to find out who the new Pope might be. When Pope Benedict XVI came out onto the balcony, he seemed full of joy. I was particularly impressed with his first words. He told the world he was not John Paul II but that he would do his best to lead the church and he asked for our prayers to help him do that. I think that was a very open and honest statement for this point in his Pontificate. He is not a duplicate of Pope John Paul II and he shouldnt try to be. He was elected for who he is and what he has to share.
"I met with the new Holy Father (then Cardinal Ratzinger) in Rome last May during an ad limina visit. We had a good exchange of ideas and opinions. He is a brilliant person. I believe he will work to be a seeker of truth and will do what needs to be done, but perhaps in a slightly different way. I think the papal office will also shape him as he serves.
"I am confident that the Church will continue to preach that every human being is important and must be cared for. This, after all, is the basic message of our faith in Jesus Christ.
"I am very optimistic and my prayer is that Pope Benedict XVI will be faithful to the Spirit and a great shepherd."