Praise for New Pope

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:22 PM EDT

( - Praise poured in Tuesday for the selection of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, to succeed Pope John Paul II.

The Catholic League Tuesday said the selection of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the new pope is a "cause for great celebration," which "sends an unmistakable message."

The selection of Ratzinger shows that "the College of Cardinals wants a man who will continue the theological legacy of Pope John Paul II. There can be no greater tribute to John Paul the Great than this," Catholic League President William Donohue said in a statement.

President Bush called Pope Benedict XVI "a man of great wisdom and knowledge. He's a man who serves the Lord."

Bush recalled Pope Benedict XVI's sermon at Pope John Paul II's funeral. "How his words touched our hearts and the hearts of millions," the president said, adding that he joins the "millions around the world who pray for continued strength and wisdom as His Holiness leads the Catholic Church."

"Today people across the world have watched the ceremony and historical proceedings in Vatican City with anticipation and joy. Today, the Catholic Church receives its 265th Pope," said Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) in a statement.

"Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger rises to his new name, Pope Benedict XVI and takes with him the blessings of Catholics across the world," added Foley.

"In a time of global unrest and terrorism, people of all faiths need to join together in prayerful contemplation of what we hope the world can become. Pope John Paul II brought the church to billions of people and Pope Benedict 16th inherits the throne of Saint Peter the Fisherman at a precarious time in world history," Foley added.

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