.- Various U.S. bishops have shared their reactions to the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI and have indicated that his election signals continuity in the Church's course.
"It says to me that the church is facing a continuity in how it goes about applying the gospel message to our day today," said Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pitstsburgh, who knows the new Pope well, having served on a number of committees with the then Cardinal.
Even though the new Pope's "style and personality" are different from that of his predecessor Pope John Paul II, Bishop Wuerl says that the "substance" of their teaching will be the same and that Catholics should not expect any major changes.
Bishop Joseph Galante of Camden, who said he expected the new pope to be younger and non-european, also pointed to the message of continuity that the election of Benedict XVI signals adding that by electing Ratzinger the Church is reaching out to Europe, where the Church is "not in good shape."
Bishop Robert Morlino of the diocese of Madison said that he was "thrilled" at the news of Benedict XVI´s election to the papacy, suggesting that the new Holy Father will be "a loving Pope."
"I would say he's a humble man in the sense he's very unassuming," commented Brownsville Bishop Raymundo Pena, "if you see him down the street and don't know who he is, you would never think he's a man with a major role in the church."
Commenting on the German Pope's choice of name he said, "His predecessor with the name Benedict XV was a great unifier, a great promoter of unity, a great healer of wounds and maybe he tends to take that type of a role."