Your e-mails: Reaction to the new pope
(CNN) -- CNN.com asked users to share their thoughts about the issues the next pope will face. Many also offered their thoughts on the selection of Pope Benedict XVI. Here is a sampling from thousands of responses, some of which have been edited.
As a Catholic Christian, I am overjoyed that the decision to elect a new Pope has happened ... I pray that regardless of religious denomination, we as a global society unite as Christians to make this world, our world, a better place for everyone, following the lead of the late John Paul II.
Ruth; Castries, Saint Lucia
It's a sad day for the open-minded Catholic people around the world. Even though Ratzinger is from Germany, I'm not proud of it. He's extremely conservative ... and sets back the Catholic Church into medieval times.
Andreas Bauer; Hilpoltstein, Germany
I think Cardinal Ratzinger is the best option because he is not only an intelligent person, he is a man of God, a true Christian, therefore capable of leading the Church.
Mini Miguel; Mexico City, Mexico
I think the thing mainstream America doesn't understand about the supreme office of the Roman Catholic Church is that its true leaders in the Vatican don't concern themselves with the "right now." They are most concerned with upholding the teachings and traditions of the Church. John Paul II's mission will be continued with Benedict XVI throughout the world. He stands for tradition, he always has. As for the American Catholic, this may seem to be a bit of a let down as many of them were hoping for someone even more worldly and progressive. I'm quite pleased with our cardinals' decision.
John; San Clemente, California
I am very disappointed with the selection of this ultra-conservative. As Catholic I was hoping for a more central liberal pope that could bring the church together. With this selection I am considering leaving the Catholic Church for a more open and contemporary church. I believe in gay rights, the right of a woman to choose to have a baby or not, divorce, and -- very important -- the use of condoms. Thank you and may God be with us all.
William Rodriguez; New York, New York
Pope John Paul II, had he lived a second life after "defeating" communism, would surely have aimed for destructive brands of capitalism next, based solely on his faith (not political convictions). So perhaps there's hope for the future should Benedict XVI act as the one who, according to many, will continue in the spirit of John Paul II.
Luke Damstra; Amsterdam, Netherlands
In a world in moral decline, we are desperately in need of a leader who possesses the knowledge and wisdom to bring us all back to the Creator. Pope Benedict XVI is the man to do that.
Beth; Weirton, West Virginia\
Congratulations to German Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger. A worthy successor to Pope John Paul II. An excellent opportunity to heal the sick and touch the lives of the poor and needy. May guidance be given from the almighty. God bless.
Dr. Nicholas P. Veliotes; Gauteng, South Africa
Absolutely delighted with the election of Pope Benedict XVI. Our universal faith is privileged to have a man of such great humanity, humility, intellect, strength and faith. I look forward to the future with great hope and anticipation.
Teresa Murphy; Glasgow, Scotland
We gathered in the conference room at my workplace along with my colleagues at work awaiting to hear about the announcement of the new pope. When the name was mentioned some of the staff showed their disappointment; however, I think that the Holy Spirit and the spirit of our beloved John Paul II have acted on this conclave. Let's all have faith, hope and let's all Catholics in the world support and pray for our new pope.
Lizzette Trochez; Tegucigalpa, Honduras
I was expecting a new pope from Latin America. Not some one so traditionalist like this one. Especially, after learning his nickname: Cardinal No. This election gives me some doubts in my personal thoughts about what is the position of he Catholic Church in this millennium.
Antonio Mena; New York, New York
Pope Benedict XVI understands where the Church has been where it is now, and using established doctrine, he will lead the Church into the future. I think this pope will draw the line on liberalism meaning Catholics must make a choice, either you are with the Church .... or you are not.
Mike Donadio; Matthews, North Carolina
I could not think of a better choice to follow in the late great John Paul II's footsteps as this man had been right there with John Paul II and knows what will be expected from him to carry on from where our John Paul the great left off. When I saw the white smoke come from the chimney, I shed a tear for Pope John Paul II knowing that he can rest in peace now knowing the right man is doing his job. God bless you Pope Benedict XVI, may you be taken to the heart of all the world as the great leader that we have lost but will never forget. Rest in peace now Pope John Paul the great.
Kevin Ryan; Athlone, Ireland
I'm really sad over the result of the cardinals' election. I know Pope Benedict XVI deserves the seat, but you know, why can't the Africans be given a chance.
Lesley Ejiogu; Ikeja, Nigeria
I wept when the Vatican senior official announced, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the new pontiff. I would admit that one could manage and even tolerate Pope John Paul's views, but Ratzinger, in contrast, is beyond tolerance. He has opposed every move that has ever been made at reforming the Catholic Church's views on issues.
Jackson Kentebe; Charleston, Illinois
I could feel that Cardinal Ratzinger had all the makings of being the next pope at the funeral mass of our beloved Pope John Paul II. Everything he did that day suggested he'd be the next pope. My greatest respect for our new Pope Benedict XVI.
Colin Misquita; Doha, Qatar
The election of Joseph Ratzinger as new pope is a moment of immense joy to ... Catholics around the world. We can now be rest assured that the good Lord has pronounced his will and the Catholic Church is in safe hands. No doubt the new pope will continue the legacy of our beloved John Paul II. But the current pope like the past stands for issues that are right in the eyes of God. There cannot be a compromise on issues like abortion and euthanasia. What is right was right in the past, is right in the present and will be right in the future. We pray and wish the pope a fruitful papacy carrying the cross and uniting the world in the love of Christ
Keneth; Margao, India
I believe this was a mistake. The church needs to open up a bit and address the problems of today. This man seems a bit locked in orthodoxy as noted by his past decisions. Can he bend? Can he lead a 21st century? We will need to wait. He could go the way of John Paul I. It was a mistake.
Steve Levon; San Diego, California
The church needed a strong face to carry forward the virtues of Christ and Pope Benedict XVI is the ideal choice. A man of courage, godliness and the truth, he reminds me of Braveheart, leading the laity in a fight of righteousness. He is not conservative but only leading the Church to the truth.
Macwyn Cardoz; Goa, India
It's like getting a new boss. One doesn't know what to expect right away because it too early to determine and one shouldn't have preconceived ideas. Personally, I'm optimistic.
Mary Rozsics; Austin, Texas
After John Paul II, I think the cardinals have chosen someone who could guarantee continuity, or at least withstand the world's pressing issues. One must never confuse doctrine with world issues. Doctrine is fundamental and to be upheld a solid rock on which to build. World issues are to be dealt with in every day matters. Someone must make the call to return to one's roots and I believe Pope Benedict XVI will endeavor to carry this out -- only time will tell if humanity is prepared to take the giant step towards a more real but solid spiritual world and look deeply into what craziness surrounds us. I wish him the best.
Christina; Lima, Peru
I am a Sri Lankan International Student in Australia. It is with joy that I congratulate His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on his assuming the throne of St. Peter. It is sad that there is so much "mixed" negative feeling about him only hours after he has been elected, I myself would have liked many other cardinals, but as I saw that kindhearted smile from the holy man stepping out on the balcony, I was filled with Joy. It is not right to judge a man whom as a Catholic I believe God has chosen in such a short time. There is a misconception that he is a tyrannical conservative, and hard man. It should be known that he was an "Enforcer" since that is what his responsibility was the past two decades, but now he is a pastor and a "Papa" to a billion of the world and his humble gesture and beautiful words shows who he truly is! And with confidence in God! I join the millions of the Church praying for him! Viva Papa!
Sean Jesudason; Melbourne, Australia