USCCB president congratulates new pope, calls him “open, pastoral”
By Catholic News Service
Pope Benedict XVI blesses a child as he leaves a prayer service in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.
(CNS photo from Catholic Press Photo)
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The president of the U.S. bishops' conference described the new Pope Benedict XVI as "very open and pastoral, with a listening ear" in an April 19 statement.
Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., called the new pope "a man of great humility and dedication to the discipleship of Christ, as well as a man of great intelligence."
The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said he met with the former head of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith "on various issues" over the years.
"Pope Benedict XVI is familiar with the Church in the United States," Bishop Skylstad said, adding that the new pope is "especially sensitive to the situation of the Church in this country."
"I know that he will be a faithful shepherd, after the example of the Good Shepherd himself, and I offer him on behalf of the bishops, priests, deacons, religious and laity of the United States our support, fidelity and love," he said.
"As a theologian, a bishop and as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the new pope has the kind of experience in Church leadership which commended him to his fellow cardinals as a worthy successor to St. Peter and as Christ's vicar here on earth," Bishop Skylstad said. "We congratulate him and pray for him as he takes on this new responsibility of being the Holy Father, not only for the Church, but for the world."

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