.- The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) expressed their great joy at the election of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.
âWe send him our congratulations and our prayers as he begins his ministry as bishop of Rome and the universal pastor of the Catholic Church,â said USCCB president Bishop William Skylstad in a statement.
âAs a theologian, a bishop, and as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the new Pope has the kind of experience in Church leadership which commended him to his fellow cardinals as a worthy successor to St. Peter and as Christâs Vicar here on earth,â he said.
Bishop Skylstad stated that Pope Benedict XVI is familiar with the Church in the U.S.
âI have had the opportunity to visit the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and to meet with Cardinal Ratzinger on behalf of the bishopsâ conference on various issues,â said the bishop.
âI have always found him to be very open and pastoral, with a listening ear, especially sensitive to the situation of the Church in this country.â
And his decades-long experience at the Vatican has put him in contact with the Church in many other countries throughout the world, he added.
The bishop described the new Pope as âa man of great humility and dedication to the discipleship of Christ, as well as a man of great intelligence.â
âI know that he will be a faithful shepherd, after the example of the Good Shepherd Himself, and I offer him on behalf of the bishops, priests, deacons, religious, and laity of the United States our support, fidelity, and love,â Bishop Skylstad said.