"Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has my vote. He is a man of towering intelligence, integrity, and love for the Church, with significant academic, pastoral, and curial experience. He's published widely and been as candid and forthright about his convictions as it is possible for anyone to be."
"He is theologically brilliant. As head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for decades, he is well acquainted with the problems in the Church throughout the world. As a close collaborator with Pope John Paul, he is best equipped to continue the Holy Father's work. He is a polyglot and can continue in what we now see as the important ability to communicate effectively with the world. He is very familiar with the Vatican bureaucracy, so that he knows how things work in Rome, but is also experienced in pastoral ministry.
"Contrary to his ill-deserved reputation as the 'Panzercardinal,' His Eminence is a pleasant and friendly and brilliant man who is doing his best to serve the Church. It is nice to see that the world got to see a little bit of the real Cardinal Ratzinger when he presided at the funeral Mass. A few years ago, I would never have given him a chance to be elected, and it amazes me how his 'stock has risen.' I can't help but think that might be the work of the Holy Spirit. It is nearly miraculous."
"Cardinal Ratzinger understands that the Church is not a Truth-of-the-Month club. Let's hope it stays that way. Under Ratzinger I dare say it would. It is the Pope's *job* to be out of step with the times. The idea that this is a "moment of growth" for the Church is to confuse the Church with a feminized university looking for a new Theology Department head. People still looking for the Church of Change disgust me because they have nothing but contempt for the 2000-year history of the Church. They view that history much as a wastrel heir views capital carefully accumulated over generations. The value accrued can at last be splurged on fashionable things! That is the liberal error. I suspect that progressives see the papal interregnum as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to capture the chair of St. Peter and preach heresy to the world. Ratzinger's great merit is that he has their number."
"Cardinal Ratzinger is a theologian of the first rank, a deep and original thinker, and his theological prowess would serve him (and the Church) well. As a peritus/expert at Vatican II, he brings not just a wealth of theological acumen to the table, but he also has a keen sense of ecclesiastical history, after all, he participated indirectly in the Council and is in an excellent position to know, first-hand, what the authentic "spirit of Vatican II" is and how it should be implemented. I have no doubt that if he were elected, Cardinal Ratzinger would be an effective and good pope. He is a warm, congenial man, and the fact that he tends to avoid the spotlight when he can suggests a personal humility, another key ingredient for a good pope."
"I can honestly say that I would be extremely upset if Cardinal Ratzinger were elected the next pope. Given his powerful position wihin the Vatican during this papacy, I would not see this as a step ahead or a moment of growth in the Church. It would also reaffirm the Euro-centric hierarchy of the Church and a model of Europeans governing over Third World peoples."
Posted on April 19, 2005:
"Obviously, the cardinals chose the safe way, the strong man who gives security in troubled in controversial times. In a way, I am glad because it will be extremely interesting to see the debate in the days to come. Like Jesus in the words of Luke's Gospel, card. Ratzinger will be a 'sign of contradiction.' It will be hard to stay in the middle. The movement and the controversy will be good for the whole church, to seek together the way to be true to Jesus' message of peace, love and hope in today's world. I hope as the new pope fights the 'dictatorship of relativism' (but you can't hide from a pluralistic world), he won't impose the dictatorship of absolute truth."
"May God grant our new Papa Ratzinger the health, wisdom, and sanctity he will surely need to carry out his mission on behalf of the good of the entire Church."