.- Amid concerns that the new Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI is out of touch with the modern Church, especially its youth, one university is welcoming the new pontiff with open arms. On April 18th, as white smoke poured out of a chimney on the Sistine Chapel, over 500 students gathered around television sets in the J.C. Williams Student Center on the campus of Ohio’s Franciscan University with baited breath.
As students cheered and applauded the news of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s election as Pope, university president, Fr. Terrance Henry T.O.R. said, “I’m very excited for the Church. I’m so grateful to the Lord for sending the Holy Spirit to guide the cardinals in their decision to elect Cardinal Ratzinger to the papacy.”
Fr. Henry, donning the traditional Franciscan robe, added that, in his view, “Cardinal Ratzinger is one of the great intellects of the Catholic Church. He will be both a promoter and a defender of the faith.”
“Having worked so closely with Pope John Paul II, he has an excellent grasp of the opportunity before us as the body of Christ and the challenges that confront us in relation to the culture of death. We can look forward to some deep and profound encyclicals from him.”
Students at the university are currently compiling a ‘spiritual bouquet’ of handwritten messages and prayers that they will send to the new Pope.