I literally have tears in my eyes. As recent as a year or two ago, I couldn't have dreamed that Ratzinger would be elected.

I can't imagine the gnashing of teeth going in some quarters right now. But let's concentrate on the joy of the moment instead of on those who will be unhappy.

Recall that Pope Benedict XVI has been a proponent of traditional liturgical forms, including Mass ad orientem. He has been solid on matters related to interreligious matters (I've been reading his book "Truth or Tolerance" on this very subject.)

One of his protégés has been Father Joseph Fessio, who headed Ignatius Press for so many years and now Chancellor of Ave Maria University.

I can't imagine the type of things we can expect in the near future, especially in relation to matters of Liturgy. Okay, I have to temper my enthusiasm somewhat. Pope John Paul II was also very strongly orthodox and conservative in relation to liturgy and other matters, but so much nonsense was still able to go on because of various levels of bureaucracy. We'll have to see whether Pope Benedict XVI (I'm still getting used to writing that) will be a better administrator.

It will also be very interesting to see who he chooses to head the various Vatican dicasteries. Wow, I need to think about all this. While I hoped for this result, I'm still a bit in shock and unprepared.

That it was such a quick election shows that there was a consensus early on. There was a unity in the College of Cardinals.

By the way, the The Ratzinger Fan Club web site has been overwhelmed.

Viva Benedict XVI! Long live Benedict XVI!!

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli