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The Hard Line on Ratzinger

That didn't take long . . . Update: The editorialists weigh in!

3:00 PM, Apr 19, 2005 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
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"Sadness for Gay Catholics"

--Headline, San Francisco Chronicle

"Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a rigid enforcer of Catholic doctrine over the past two decades and a close personal friend of the late Pope John Paul II, was chosen Tuesday as the 265th leader of the Roman Catholic Church. He took the name Pope Benedict XVI. The unusually rapid election of Ratzinger, who turned 78 on Saturday and starts his papacy as the oldest pope in more than a century, appears to signal a desire by the church to continue the strict conservative policies of John Paul II and provide its leaders with a transitional reign before taking on the daunting issues of the 21st century."

--Don Lattin, San Francisco Chronicle

"Ratzinger, a 78-year-old prelate who is one of the most controversial figures in the Catholic Church because of his hard-line stances against what he views as dissidence in the church, then appeared in his new papal white robes covered by a red cape. He beamed and waved his clasped hands."

--Michael Paulson, Boston Globe

"Cardinal Ratzinger's choice was sure to be controversial because of his unbending orthodoxy on fundamental doctrinal issues as well as his World War II record as a member although mandatory and unenthusiastic of the Hitler Youth."

--John Phillips, Washington Times

Jonathan V. Last is online editor of The Weekly Standard and a contributor to the blog Galley Slaves.