April 20, 2005

Maine Catholics voice varied reactions

Portland Press Herald

By TESS NACELEWICZ, Portland Press Herald Writer

Maragarita Heward of Gorham has long admired Joseph Ratzinger. She heard him preach in the 1970s in her native Bavaria and shook his hand once after church.

Maragarita Heward is overjoyed that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday.

It's not just that he's from her native Bavaria and she once shook his hand; she had long admired Ratzinger and his stance on issues in the Roman Catholic Church.

"I think, and have always thought, so highly of the man," said Heward, 56, of Gorham. "I don't think I've been this happy since the birth of my last child."

But Paul Kendrick of Cumberland is unhappy about the choice of Ratzinger, who is known as a doctrinal hard-liner.

"I wish I felt more optimism. It was really a disappointment today," said Kendrick, a member of Voice of the Faithful, a group of lay Catholics that seeks church reform and advocates for victims of sexual abuse by priests.

"The major disappointment to me is that the issues that need to be discussed (in the church) won't be discussed," he said.

Posted by kshaw at April 20, 2005 08:16 AM