Rome (Fides Service) - “The election of a Pope is an act of faith, not a political act. Therefore whoever is elected is the Vicar of Christ, since we know in faith that Christ Jesus in person leads his Church and He through the Holy Spirit prompts the election of the one who is to be his Vicar on earth”: Cardinal Geraldo Majella Agnelo Arcivescovo of São Salvador da Bahia, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Brazil, told Fides. “When Benedict XVI was elected- the Cardinal said -, I immediately and with joy accepted it as the will of God certain that he was the man God willed to be Pope, despite any human limits he may have”. In this sense “I realised with joy and awareness that he is not a copy of his predecessors, nor is he similar to his immediate predecessor, he is the one called now to continue the journey the Church has travelled in 2000 years of her history”. In him the Church continues and stands, despite many challenges, and she will exist always because Christ promised to be with the Church until the end of time, the President of the Bishops’ Conference explained.
“Pope Benedict XVI, until now known to us as Cardinal Ratzinger, is a man of depth, a man of extraordinary theological, biblical and philosophical culture. The newly elected Pope, without a doubt, is a man who speaks clearly and is understood. This clarity will be a valid tool for dialogue with others and with the world. His long experience at the service of the universal Church will help him in his task as Vicar of Christ”.
With regard to the sentiments of the people of Brazil Cardinal Majella Agnelo said “the people of Brazil see the Pope with faith. When Pope John Paul II was elected they did not know him but from his first visit here in Brazil he build a bond of friendship and empathy with the people who welcomed his as ‘John of God. The same will happen with the new Pope who will be welcomed in the faith and then mutual knowledge will lead to friendship.” (RZ) (Agenzia Fides 25/4/2005; righe 29, parole 412)