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Pope Ratzinger?

German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has emerged as an alleged frontrunner as the next pope. Most DW-WORLD readers thought that he would be a good choice as leader of the Catholic Church.


Is he getting ready to grab the Catholic Church's highest office?

I think Ratzinger will be the next pope. In addition to his familiarity with the curia and his doctrinal strictness, his advanced age makes it somewhat more likely that he will be a transitional pope. I think the cardinals want a breather after John Paul II. However, his vigorous appearance suggests another 20 years for him! I think it's exceedingly scary that the Grand Inquisitor has any papal prospects at all. -- Laura , USA

I am a US citizen living in Mexico and working every day for the end to the abuses in the holy mass and for a restoration of Catholic tradition in the church. As a traditionalist, Cardinal Ratzinger is not conservative enough for me, insofar as he would permit the restoration of the Traditional Latin Mass in a limited way rather than in every parish. However, his understanding of the purpose of liturgy is sound and much needed in the church. We need the reforms he has proposed in his work, "The Spirit of the Liturgy." I know the Holy Spirit will guide the Church and privately hope that Cardinal Ratzinger or someone even more traditional and conservative will be chosen -- conservative in matters of liturgy and doctrine, loving and pastoral in social questions, and in all things holding to the precious beliefs of the Catholic faith. -- Janet Baker

Cardinal Ratzinger would make a fabulous pope. He is not only most genuine and fervently filled with the Holy Spirit as apparent in his zeal for truth as made manifest in the Lord Jesus Christ, but he would reaffirm and consolidate the legacy of our beloved John Paul II. Furthermore, Ratzinger would strengthen and purify the Catholic Church, not by lowering and modifying standards of truth held for 2000 years (as the "moderates" and "progressives" would do), but by raising standards and thus our hearts in an authentic determination to serve the Lord in thought, word, and deed -- as required not just by hierarchy and clergy, but by all Catholic Christian believers. With Ratziner as Vicar of Christ, the "springtime" that Pope John Paul II so longed to see, would be realized. -- Diane Garvin

Yes, Cardinal Ratzinger would make a great pope. The Church is not in need of a flip-flopper who will bend with the whims of a few. The church should stand, as it has for the last 26 years for what is right and Catholic. Cardinal Ratzinger would see that this would continue. -- Erni Stetz , US

The categories of "conservative" and "progressive" are blunt descriptive instruments. Cardinal Ratzinger would, I think, surprise many by his pontificate if elected, and prove a good choice, even as an interim pope. One thing is for sure -- in an age in which secular value systems seek to pervade even the church, Ratzinger will never allow the tail to wag the dog. -- Alexander Wood

We shall probably see no white smoke rising in the next few weeks to announce the election of a progressive pope. The Catholic Church has been seeing a woeful drop in believers throughout the European Union (and probably in my country, the United States, as well) if recent news accounts are correct. This translates to me into its need to continue restriction of the Catholic woman's rights, which includes the use of contraceptive measures -- even though it also means adding to environmental damage in the form of untenable over-population and the disastrous AIDS plague throughout Asia, Africa and elsewhere. But perhaps that's an "add some, subtract some" equation to the two problems. I doubt, as well, that the Catholic institution wants to voice a mea culpa in the wide-spread practice of pederasty among its priests either by taking the progressive measures of allowing them to marry or even masturbate in privacy. And women as priests? No, no, no! That's much too reminiscent of Jesus Christ's image of Christianity. I rather think George Bush will be the happy beneficiary of the pontiff's death. -- Ruth Chaban , US

I think Cardinal Ratzinger would make a wonderful pope. He has the right idea. There is a clash of cultures between the church and the secular world. People need to be led back to Christ and the only way for that to happen is for the Church to start preaching conversion to Christ again. The last 40 years have been spent opening the Church to the world. Now we have a shortage of priests and religious, here in the US we have the sex abuse scandal, low attendance rates at mass. Now is the time for the Church to start saving souls again. -- Suzanne Abril , US

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