ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK, April 19, 2005 - The Most Reverend William Murphy, Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, issued the following statement upon the election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as the new Holy Father:
We join all Catholics throughout the world in rejoicing at the election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as our new Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. He is an extremely holy and humble man. The Pope is a compassionate listener, a great teacher, a priest and bishop who knows how to lead the Church. He has the heart of a good shepherd and a faithful pastor. He is one of the great Catholic theologians of the 20th and 21st centuries. This is a wonderful choice for the Church and ensures the same faithfulness to the Gospel that characterized the great pontificate of John Paul II.
We, clergy, religious and faithful of the Diocese of Rockville Centre pledge to our new Holy Father our fidelity, loyalty and obedience along with our prayerful support as he assumes the tremendous and awesome responsibilities as the Vicar of Christ on earth.
About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
The Diocese of Rockville Centre was formed in 1957 and covers 1,222 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1.5 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3 million). There are 134 parishes in 119 towns. Last year over 21,000 baptisms, 18,000 confirmations, 21,000 first communions and 5,000 marriages took place in the diocese. There are 2,622 students in kindergarten, 26,738 in primary or elementary school, 11,979 in secondary school and 9,310 in higher institutions. There are 77 Catholic elementary schools, high schools and colleges/universities in the diocese. Catholic Health Services of Long Island consists of five hospitals, three nursing homes, two home care agencies, two senior housing complexes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice. These facilities served over 743,000 people last year. For more information visit www.drvc.org