Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany is now the 265th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Benedict XVI, as he will now be known, is considered a direct disciple of his predecessor, John Paul II, and is known for his unyielding embrace of conservative theology.
Ratzinger has referred to homosexuality as “a tendency toward an intrinsic moral evil” and has taken strong stance against gay marriage. He opposes contraception and wrote a memo saying he approved of denying communion to politicians who support abortion rights.
Some in the American Catholic Church are applauding his selection — saying it affirms the moral center of the faith. Others say he will alienate many progressives who want the church to open its doors wider. Pope Benedict XVI and the perspectives of American Catholics.
Rev. Michael Barrett, Director of the Holy Cross Chapel in Houston, Texas and a Priest of Opus Dei
Sister Maureen Sullivan, Dominican Sister of Hope and Professor of Theology at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.