.- 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 Ohioâs Franciscan University with baited breath.
As students cheered and applauded the news of Cardinal Joseph Ratzingerâs election as Pope, university president, Fr. Terrance Henry T.O.R. said, âIâm very excited for the Church. Iâm so grateful to the Lord for sending the Holy Spirit to guide the cardinals in their decision to elect Cardinal Ratzinger to the papacy.â
Fr. Henry, donning the traditional Franciscan robe, added that, in his view, âCardinal Ratzinger is one of the great intellects of the Catholic Church. He will be both a promoter and a defender of the faith.â
âHaving 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.â
Students at the university are currently compiling a âspiritual bouquetâ of handwritten messages and prayers that they will send to the new Pope.