.- Cardinal Walter Kasper said yesterday that Pope Benedict XVI was elected by a wide margin of votes and that he was sure that the new Pontiff would be “the Pope of reconciliation and peace.” Speaking on Italian television, the German cardinal said the new Pope “has a very pleasant and sensitive personality” and that “the world will see that he is not the person some have portrayed him to be.”
Noting the existence of “prejudices,” some of which he called “disloyal,” against Benedict XVI, Cardinal Kasper said people should let the Pope get to work in his pontificate because “he will surprise everyone.”
Likewise, the cardinal said the swift election of the new Pope, after only four ballots, “is a sign of unity because it was not clear at the beginning that there was going to be agreement so quickly.”
“The cardinals come from different parts of the world, with diverse dreams, problems, and sensibilities. However, a large majority, a unanimity of consensus, was quickly formed,” the cardinal revealed.
Cardinal Kasper, who was President of the Pontifical Council for the Unity of Christians up until the death of Pope John Paul II, expressed his satisfaction with the comments of Pope Benedict XVI on ecumenism and the future of the Church during his first discourse at the conclusion of Mass in the Sistine Chapel on Wednesday.
Addressing the cardinals gathered for the closing of the conclave, the Holy Father said he was “willing” to do everything in his power to promote ecumenism.