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"This is a great honour for Germany. I think he will be a worthy successor to Pope John Paul II. I congratulate him on behalf of the government and all Germans." -
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder

"His Holiness brings a wealth of experience to this exalted office. The United Nations and the Holy See share a strong commitment to peace, social justice, human dignity, religious freedom and mutual respect among the world's religions. The Secretary-General looks forward to the contributions His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI will make in strengthening those values." - UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan

"I want to offer congratulations to Pope Benedict XVI, a man of great wisdom, and knowledge. He's a man who serves the Lord. And we remember well a sermon at the pope's funeral in Rome -- how his words touched our hearts and the hearts of millions. We join our fellow citizens and millions around the world who pray for continued strength and wisdom as His Holiness leads the Catholic Church." - US President George Bush

I send Pope Benedict XVI my warmest congratulations and sincere good wishes for the high mission that has just been entrusted on the head of the Catholic Church - French President Jacques Chirac

"I ... state the willingness of the government of Spain to sustain the historic relations between Spain and the Holy See and to cooperate with Your Holiness during your mandate. I take this opportunity, Your Holiness, to send you the testimony of my highest consideration and esteem." - Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Spanish Prime Minister

"May your acceptance of this tremendous burden of service bear fruit in our world. May God give you strength for these new cares." - Irish President Mary Mcaleese

"Today ushers in a new era for the Catholic Church. I'm confident that Pope Benedict XVI is blessed with the same compassion and vision that made Pope John Paul II one of the world's most revered and respected voices." - Bill Frist, US Senate Majority Leader

"The Queen of England and the Duke of Edinburgh have sent a private message with their best wishes." - Buckingham Palace

"We want to congratulate him and tell him we're on his side. We want to build and keep growing this magnificent, extraordinary relationship that has been built between our country and the Vatican. We do this because, without a doubt ... the previous pope and this one surely will be leaders that bring peace, harmony and tranquility to the world, who intensely promote human values and the defense of human rights."  - Vicente Fox, President of Mexico

"I certainly express the feelings of all Italians, and am particularly delighted, when I present Your Holiness with the warm and respectful homage of the Italian government." - Silvio Berlusconi, Italian Prime Minister

 "We welcome the new Pope and wish him every success in the daunting challenges that lie ahead.
...We hope that he will continue along the path of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II in working to enhance relations with the Jewish people and the State of Israel." - Chief Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks

"Cardinal Ratzinger already has shown a profound commitment to advancing Catholic-Jewish relations and we look forward to continuing our close working relationship with the Church." - Rabbi David Rosen, American Jewish Committee

 "We congratulate His Holiness and wish him every success. We hope the strong and historic relations between Palestine and the Vatican will be as strong as ever and that the Vatican's support for a just peace in the Holy Land will continue." - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

"I offer heartfelt congratulations on Your election to the ancient Roman office. I wish You God's help in the high service of leading the Roman Catholic church. Our churches, which have authority and influence, should unite their efforts to spread Christian values to modern humankind. The secular world is losing its spiritual way and needs our joint testimony as never before. - Patriarch Alexiy II, head of Russian Orthodox Church

This is a man who will make fidelity to the Church's teachings central to his papacy, but I don't think he will hammer people over the head. I think he will invite people to accept the Lord and accept the Church, and I just think this is wonderful news." - Fr. David O'Connell, president of Catholic University of America

 "I found him to be a very humble man. ... I found him to be very pastoral. I found him to be very concerned and caring, supportive, but also a man who, with a deep sense of humility, was committed to the mission of the gospel and furtherment of the common good.
Certainly as we deal with the conflicts issues, there needs to be a guiding light from our own tradition. I think Cardinal Ratzinger, in a very difficult, complex time where there are challenges of traditional moral values that are very commonplace in our world, he really has been a kind of a rock of Gibraltar, so to speak, really solid foundation as we look to the future."
- Bishop William Skylstad, president of the USCCB. 

 " We wish Pope Benedict XVI every blessing in the immense responsibilities he is about to assume on behalf of Roman Catholics round the world. I look forward to meeting him and working together to build on the legacy of his predecessor, as we seek to promote shared understanding between our churches in the service of the Gospel and the goal of Christian unity."  - Dr Rowan Williams, Church of England

"This is a moment of very great joy for the whole Church. Catholics from all around the world thank God for the gift of a new Pope Benedict XVI. - Javier Echevarria, Opus Dei Prelate, Spain

"The selection of Cardinal Ratzinger as the successor to John Paul II indicates clearly that the College of Cardinals wanted to continue the direction and the tremendous accomplishment of the past 27 years. Like John Paul II, Benedict XVI is both a strong leader and a brilliant theologian.
Both were intimately involved in the work of the Second Vatican Council, and firmly committed to the renewal it brought about. And, of course, Cardinal Ratzinger was one of John Paul's earliest appointments, and has served in the key post of Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith since 1981.
The cardinals could not have picked a person who was closer to John Paul II, personally and doctrinally, than the man who is now Pope Benedict XVI."
- Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight, Knights of Columbus

"We thankfully recognize the staunch pro-life commitment of Cardinal Ratzinger during the whole of his episcopacy and we are confident that as Pope Benedict XVI, he will continue his strong defense of the Church's teaching on the sanctity of human life"
 - Father Thomas Euteneuer,  President of Human Life International

"Priests for Life is delighted at the election of Pope Benedict XVI. For decades, he has been a strong voice in favor of life, clearly articulating the Church's teachings. In particular, he has explained how the Church must be the conscience of the state. We look forward to working together with and under the leadership of the new Pope to advance the Culture of Life." - Father Frank Pavone. National director of Priests for Life

 

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