April 24, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI seen as a conservative choice

MetroWest Daily News

By Jennifer Kavanaugh / Daily News Staff
Sunday, April 24, 2005

When the white smoke blew from the chimney and the bells chimed Tuesday in Vatican City, Catholics around the world waited for a name, and a vision.

From St. Peter to the recently departed Pope John Paul II, 264 pontiffs have come and gone, and still the Catholic Church has endured for two millennia, through wars, the Protestant Reformation and massive social changes. ...

The lay group Voice of the Faithful, which started locally in 2002 in response to the abuse scandal but now counts 30,000 people as its members, was also critical about Law's recent role. But group leaders seem willing to give the new pope a chance.

"I would characterize it as, optimistic, but realistic," said Suzanne Morse, Voice of the Faithful's spokesperson.

Morse said the group has taken comfort in his decision to reopen the investigation into Rev. Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legion of Christ, who was accused of molesting nine young men. In an open letter to the new pope posted on its Web site, the group urges him to meet with an international delegation of abuse survivors as soon as possible.

"Our feeling is the church needs to create systems, not only to prevent the abuse, but to prevent the kinds of cover-ups that have taken place," Morse said. "The church is not going to change unless the entire church -- the hierarchy, the clergy and the laity -- work together."

Posted by kshaw at April 24, 2005 06:53 AM