Non-Catholics React to New Pope

Non-Catholics React to New Pope
By: Wes Wallace
With Catholics around the world celebrating the election of a new pope, it leaves many Non-Catholics wondering more about what's next for the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
"It's a tough act to follow, we'll have to wait and see how well he relates to people," says Mike Shupert, Interim Pastor of Cape Girardeau First Baptist, "While we're not involved in the inner workings of the church, we want to celebrate with our Catholic friends."
Shupert says he doesn't expect any radical changes coming out of the Vatican, since Ratzinger was so close in line with Pope John Paul the Second's way of thinking in both theology and life.
"The election of the leader of 1.1 billion Christians is of great concern to me," explains Father Bob Towner, of the Christ Episcopal Church.
Towner agrees things won't change in the Vatican. He calls Pope Benedict XVI a wonderful protector of what the Catholic Church stands for, but he also criticizes him for not adapting to the growing problems of the world.
"We're facing a world population explosion, and we're having another crisis with the spread of AIDS. Since Catholics aren't supposed to use contraception, this stance certainly doesn't help fix these concerns, especially in third world countries," states Towner.
While many view the election of a new pope as a new chapter in both history and religion, Father Towner says it's really not new, since it's basically a continuation of the same mind set and leadership as John Paul.
Both Towner and Shupert do agree it'll be interesting to see how the younger generation and those in developing nations embrace Pope Benedict XVI.