Desmond Cardinal Connell † Desmond Cardinal Connell †
Archbishop Emeritus of Dublin, Ireland
Cardinal Priest of San Silvestro in Capite
Mar 24, 1926
Feb 21, 2001
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English Marvellous Compassion and Understanding
Jul 23, 2005
The election of Benedict XVI made a very good impression on me. At the announcement of Cardinal Medina, some people probably wondered whether Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, would be a pastor or rather a theologian, or perhaps a man withdrawn from contact with ordinary people. By Cardinal Desmond Connell, Archbishop Emeritus of Dublin

(30Days, May 2005) And what we have seen since his election shows that he is a true pastor.

I was deeply moved by his homily on the day of the inauguration of his ministry, particularly by the use of the image of the wasteland. Many people, for different reasons, including poverty and abandonment, are living in the wasteland of modern, secular society. It seemed to me that in the words of the Holy Father there was a wonderful compassion and understanding of the suffering of people in today’s world. I saw the Pope opening his heart to the suffering.

Now I was also very impressed by the concerns that he has at heart. He is anxious to develop collegiality. I think that this caused some surprise, but it is clear that he is anxious to find a way forward to develop what the Second Vatican Council wanted. It is quite clear that like John Paul II he is a man of the Second Vatican Council and he does want to establish the thinking of the Second Vatican Council deeply within the Church.

He spoke also about his concerns for peace and reconciliation in the world. He is following the example of his predecessor Benedict XV who during the First World War made the first great steps on the part of the Holy See to be involved in the search for the peace and reconciliation required in order to make life livable. Pope Benedict XVI is also greatly involved in the development of the ecumenic mission of the Church, because it is a fundamental part of the seeking for that unity for which Christ prayed at the Last Supper. These are some of my first thoughts.
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