Cardinal O'Brien welcomes Pope Benedict XVI.
Following the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Keith O'Brien has issued the following statement from the Vatican at 20.00 (GMT);
"It has been a great joy for me to share with my brother Cardinals in the election of Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI, he is a man of deep spirituality, a renowned theologian and a wonderful choice as Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church."
"The election of a Pope is a time of joy and hope for Catholics in Scotland and around the world. I am sure that Scotland's Catholics and all people of goodwill in our country will join with me in asking God's fullest blessings on our new Pope - his greatest title is perhaps the most simple; "Servant of the servants of God", may he indeed serve all peoples as Christ served and did his holy predecessor pope John Paul II."
"May our new Pope work for peace throughout the world following the example of his earlier predecessor Pope Benedict XV who died at the time of the First World War."
"St. Benedict is one of the patron saints of Europe, may he inspire us as we remember Europe's Christian roots and may our new Pope also keep before his own mind and ours the final words in St Benedict's rule; 'Place no one before Christ'."
"I have been greatly privileged, to have been involved in the election of a successor to St. Peter and to have been present in Rome at the historic moment when a new pontificate began. As I stood on the balcony with the Pope earlier this afternoon looking down on the vast crowds in St. Peter's square, I was delighted to see a Scotland's flag being held aloft by someone in the crowd, reminding me of the day some 18 months ago when I became a Cardinal and flew the same flag in that magnificent Square."
"Following the election, Pope Benedict XVI has invited all the Cardinals to join him for a meal this evening and to concelebrate mass with him in the Sistine Chapel tomorrow morning at 08.00 (local), I am delighted to accept these invitations."
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