Statement by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor following election of Pope Benedict XVI

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In Benedict XVI we have a good man who is going to be a good pope. The successor of St Peter is not a pastor for one or another group but for the whole Church. Pope Benedict is – as Cardinal Newman once said of a gentleman – one who “has eyes on all the company”. I think that this new Peter will have eyes on the whole company of the Church and on the good of the future of the Church.
Pope Benedict has had great experience as a theologian. He has also served as archbishop of one of the great sees of Catholic Germany. Over the years, in my visits to him when he was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, I have always found him to be intelligent, courteous, fair, and an attentive listener.
In choosing the name of Benedict, he had in mind Benedict XV, pope in time of world war, a dedicated reconciler and peacemaker. And he told the cardinals that he intended his name to signify peace and reconciliation.
This will be a very prayerful, spiritual and intelligent papacy.
Shortly after his election, I knelt down and kissed his ring. I told the new Pope that I brought with me the prayers and best wishes of the Catholics of England and Wales. He asked me to give his warm greetings to all people of England and Wales, and to assure them of his prayers.