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  A Christian Faith Magazine April 2005, Volume 10, Issue 9  
Rev. Mark Connolly Pope Benedict XVI
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Pope Benedict XVI
Alessia Pierdomenico/Reuters

If there is anything that the election of this new Pope has done, it is to the benefit of the senior citizens in our country. Corporations do not want to wait any more until you are 65 before they want you to leave and get a new replacement. The election of Benedict XVI at 78 years of age, called to lead over a billion people is a great reminder to all senior citizens to learn from this event. This Pope has real wisdom, real knowledge, real experience about the problems of life and as Pope he will put them into action in bringing the gospel of Christ to people of all ages.

Every one is getting caught up in whether he is a conservative or is he a liberal. I really do not think in the plan of God it makes that much difference. If this Pope, like his predecessor, brings the gospel to the distant regions of the world and people hear the message of Christ, those people hear that message of Christ not because they are liberal or conservative but because they are hungering for the message of Christ. This will be his purpose.

All we are hearing now is that he is a transitional Pope, the inference being he might not live a long life. But isn't it strange how our memory play tricks on us. Many years ago a man was elected Pope who was quite sickly. His name was Leo XIII and he celebrated over 25 years as Pope of the Catholic Church. While he was aging and quite sickly he produced one of the greatest teachings in the Catholic Church in recent years called Rerum Novarum. Piux XI in his work Quadragesimo Anno continued many of the thoughts started by Leo XIII. They are beautiful works about the dignity of the working man and how the working man should be treated. Now do you think in the plan of God this man, Pope Benedict XVIII, might produce some thing or do some thing that will be far more than anyone has ever expected? All of us know because he is the head of a large organization that you cannot change things overnight. Each one of us is connected with the Pope by our baptism. He was baptized and so was each one of us so there is a connection and that connection will be more experienced by him by your personal prayers and sacrifices that are directed to God on his behalf. This Pope might go down in history as one of the greatest Popes of our era. Only time will tell. In the meantime, our prayers will help that become a reality.

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