Marks Reign of New Pope
By Larry B. Stammer
Times Staff Writer
Courtesy of The Los Angeles Times
the election of Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony celebrated
his first Mass at the downtown Cathedral in honor of the new pontiff
Tuesday and offered assurances that the German-born leader would
be a pope for the whole church, not just Europe.
Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels drew more than
3,000 from throughout Southern California who filled the pews
and lined the walls of the vast church to pray for the 264th successor
of Peter, the Apostle of Jesus.
have the strong hand of Peter in the person of Pope Benedict"
at the helm of the church, Mahony told the congregation. Mahony
prayed that Benedict would be given "a spirit of courage
and right judgment, a spirit of knowledge and love."
another first, Mahony, who for 26 years had prayed for "John
Paul our pope" during the Eucharist, now prayed for "Benedict
our pope." A large photograph of the new pontiff rested on
an easel on the marble steps leading to the altar.
liturgy echoed those held at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome since
John Paul II's death on April 2. As more than 50 robed priests
and deacons, six bishops and Mahony followed a cross bearer into
the cathedral, the congregation sang the Litany of the Saints,
a liturgical prayer petitioning the saints by name to pray for
was the same litany, Mahony later told the congregation, that
had been sung three times in as many weeks at St. Peter's, once
at the funeral Mass for John Paul, another time as cardinals entered
the Sistine Chapel to elect a new pope, and at Sunday's Mass installing
Benedict as supreme pontiff of the 1.1-billion-member church.
a news conference before the Mass, Mahony said Benedict, the former
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, would not ignore Africa, South America
or Asia, despite speculation that he would concentrate on reviving
the church in Europe, where its numbers are shrinking and Mass
attendance is plummeting.
is very, very well informed on what is going on in the whole world.
He does not see himself at all as the German pope or the European
pope. He sees himself as the pope for the universal church,"
Mahony said. He predicted that Benedict would soon make a trip
to Latin America to attend a synod of bishops.
Mahony said he doubted that Benedict would visit Los Angeles any
time soon. Mahony said Los Angeles may find itself lower in priority
because John Paul spent two days here in 1987.