Our prayers have been answered. This weekend we celebrate and
we give thanks to God for the gift to His Church of a new Holy
Father, Pope Benedict XVI. In Pope Benedict we have been given
a gentle, humble, holy man. He plays the piano.
He is a man who has been greatly caricatured by the communications
media establishment over the years. For the past 24 years he
has been Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the
Faith. This means that his job was to be vigilant for the deposit
of faith, in other words, to safeguard the integrity of the
teaching of Jesus Christ and of His Church. Anybody with only
a passing knowledge of Church history will know that heresies
have always abounded right from the first Christian centuries
down to our own times. Naturally this difficult task did not
make him popular with all, especially with those he had to correct.
He is a gentle, shy man who always conducts his business with
grace and brotherly love. He is a very accomplished theologian
with a truly brilliant mind.
His role has changed for ever now. He has been called to be
Bishop of Rome and Shepard of the Universal Church. His role
will be chiefly a pastoral one. Somebody else will look after
the technicalities of theology for him. I have no doubt that
the Church is in the hands of a capable, good, holy man. I have
a feeling that he will give us all a sense of confidence and
security in our Catholic faith. Equally, I have a suspicion
that young people will love him - they do sincerely want to
know right from wrong. Let us pray for him. Céad mile
fáilte, Holy Father. Gura fada buan é.