TORONTO, April 19, 2005, 1:00 pm EST – With humility and thanksgiving, the Catholic Civil Rights League ( welcomes the election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI, Supreme Pontiff and Bishop of Rome. We join in earnest and prayerful support of His Holiness as he embarks on his pontificate.

“What an awesome responsibility he is undertaking,” said League President Philip Horgan. “We join Catholics worldwide and others of goodwill in expressing our humble prayers for the new Pope, who in our tradition is the choice of the Holy Spirit working through the College of Cardinals.

“Our tradition recognizes the Pope as the successor of St. Peter, the rock chosen by Jesus Christ to lead His Church. Just as Peter was chosen to “feed my sheep,” the new Pope assumes the leadership of the Catholic Church to continue the work of his predecessors as the ‘servant of the servants of the Church’.

“Our new Pope brings theological expertise and considerable experience in Church affairs to his new role. He worked closely with our dearly departed Pope John Paul II and will no doubt continue many of the late Pontiff’s efforts in evangelization and outreach. One of his first visits will be to World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, his home country, later this summer.

“Please join with us in giving our prayerful support to our new Pope on this joyous occasion.”

  About CCRL

Catholic Civil Rights League ( assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization. The Catholic Civil Rights League is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.

For further information: Joanne McGarry, Executive Director, 416-466-8244;