The Archbishop of Toledo and Primate of Spain Msgr. Antonio Cañizares Llovera, pointed out that it is “a stereotype that many are not accepting Benedict XVI” as neither was “John Paul II”.
In an interview with Epoca Magazine, Msgr. Cañizares affirmed that “it is a stereotype that many are not admitting Benedict XVI, they did not admit John Paul II either. They are people that do not admit the Truth. And that is the foundation, Jesus Christ is the Truth and the Church labors and strives because of that. The New Pope –he added- will bring lots of hope and liberty to the Church”.
Concerning the task of the Church in the contemporary world, Archbishop Cañizares pointed out that “the Church should not look to what the world is doing, but to what God wants of her. That is what John Paul II’s pontificate was. It was not an original trace of a man who come from a far away land, from Poland. It was plainly, a man that was focused in the Church. He just followed the Vatican II Council, in his journey throughout the whole world”, and in regard to the new Pope, he affirmed that “ Benedict XVI will follow the same path. He will not start thinking: ‘Let´s see, what do I want to do with this Church’ as in a laboratory”.
Msgr. Cañizares fondly recalled some moments shared with the Holy Father. “I remember that before being appointed bishop of Avila, I had a scheduled interview with him. This was going to be on a Friday and the appointment took place the prior Tuesday. As soon as he knew, he asked his secretary to call me up, in order to meet me as soon as possible, thus giving ourselves the chance to spend a longer time together. In ten minutes we solved out the issue I had brought from Spain, and then,...he spent an hour and a half talking with me, as a friend, as a brother, as a father”, he added.
At the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Msgr. Cañizares had the opportunity to labor with the new Pope “in a closer way. To tell the truth, it has been a great gift having acquainted him, being with him. For me, his appointment is a gift from God”.
In regard to what can be expected as the contribution of this Pope to the society, the Archbishop of Toledo thinks that we can count on “following up the great contribution of John Paul II. He will help the Church to clarify intransigence. He will bring freedom to our society and to the greatness of mankind, of the human being. He will bring that religious profoundness. He will give a deeper sense to communion, and lead us to put all relativism aside. Benedict XVI is not one of those who look behind, but on the contrary, has a far reaching gaze into the future. He will not accept any renovation in the Church if it is not God’s renovation”, he added.