Following the election of the new Pope, Archbishop Mario Conti of
Glasgow said: "I am delighted that the Cardinals have reached a
decision so quickly, offering a clear signal of their unity of mind.
"I know the new Pope personally. I have had the honour of meeting
him several times over the years in Rome. He is a very humble,
personable man, quite different from the hardline 'enforcer' image
which is often portrayed of him.
"He is a man of great theological ability, linguistically talented,
kindly of manner and of enormous pastoral and administrative experience.
He was of course very close to Pope John Paul, knew his mind, and
collaborated very closely with him. But he is his own man, and will
bring his own gifts to the papacy, to the Church and the world.
"He will speak and write with a clear voice. He showed in his sermon
at the late Pope's funeral that he had the gift of communicating with
vast crowds. He spoke simply, directly and movingly. Many who had only
known him as the great enforcer were surprised at his kindly, gentle,
affectionate words that day.
"The choice of name is interesting, and I would say, inspiring. The
last Pope to bear that name, Benedict XV, was a man of enormous humility
who spent himself in the cause of peace. I think we may find a clue to
the style of pontificate we are likely to see in that choice of name.
"Having just returned from Rome last night I hope to return for the
new Pope's installation, bringing with me the love and prayers of the
Catholics of Scotland and of many others who in recent weeks have
expressed such great interest in the person of the Pope and have shared
the sorrow of the Catholic community at the death of Pope John Paul
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