Local Catholic community looks ahead to new papacy

The Rev. James J. Setelik from Corpus Christi Catholic Community:

"I think he's going to be a continuing voice of orthodoxy of the church, much in the style of Pope John Paul II.

"He's a solid theologian and has published a number of works on the liturgy and church and he's also one of the major forces behind the universal catechism of the church."

Setelik said he was excited about the election and curious about the new name the pope has chosen - Benedict XVI. Setelik said he probably chose that name because he didn't want to overshadow the 26 years of tremendous work by Pope John Paul II.

"I fully expected there would be a good possibility of a Latin American or African pope," Setelik added.

"Where Ratzinger is strongest is he is a Vatican insider. As such, he is very much familiar with the problems and issues that have to be addressed in the church. As head of the holy office, he faced them on a regular basis."

Setelik said, out of curiosity he typed in the word pope on e-bay and found there were already about 45 entries of people selling items with the new pope's name on them.

"I punched in the name and sure enough, there were two pages of stuff. Things like T-shirts and buttons. All kinds of things."

Janet Basgall, secretary/office manager: (St. Teresa's):

"I'm not surprised (he was elected)," said Janet Basgall, secretary/office manager of St. Teresa of Avila.

"He was so close to Pope John Paul II. And because he's so well known with the other cardinals."

Most Reverend Phillip F. Straling, bishop, diocese of Reno:

"We welcome the election of the new Pope, Benedict XVI, as the 265th successor of St. Peter. The new pope faces the very large challenge of following in the footsteps of Pope John Paul II. I ask all the people of the Diocese of Reno to join me in prayer for this new shepherd of the church."

In an open letter to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, Straling wrote, "As Bishop of Diocese of Reno and on behalf of all of us in Northern Nevada, the clergy, religious and the faithful, I wish to extend to you, upon your election as our new pope, Benedict XVI, our congratulations, prayers and fidelity.

"Jesus, before His ascension to His and our Father in heaven, assured us on Earth of His love, help and guidance. As disciples, He gave us His church built on the rock of Peter. We have been blessed with the service of this office of Peter throughout the last 2000 years, most recently the 26 years of Pope Paul II.

"Now, you assume this office of Peter. May the Holy Spirit guide and direct you."

Brother Matthew Cunningham, Diocese of Reno:

With a shortage of priests in North America and Europe, Cunningham said each pope puts his stamp on the papacy, but it is hard to tell at this point if Pope Benedict XVI will address the issue.

"It's up to him," Cunningham said. "At some point, he certainly may."

Deacon Bob Evans (St. Teresa's):

"I think it's a real time of excitement and anticipation in the church. It's important we congratulate him on the election - the Holy Father Benedict XVI.

"Hopefully he'll lead us with strength and compassion and holiness to Jesus, the Good Shepherd. That's real important."

n Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.


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