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Canadian PM welcomes new pope

April 19, 2005 at 11:18 PM

OTTAWA, April 19 (UPI) -- Canada's Prime Minister Paul Martin welcomed the naming of Pope Benedict XVI, however, other Canadians said they had hoped for a more progressive pope.

"We know that he will cherish and continue the legacy of Pope John Paul II, and we pledge our support to his all important work in the service of humanity, both in promoting human rights and in fostering greater understanding between the peoples and the nations of the world," Martin said in a statement.

"We also know him to be a sincere and devoted servant of the Roman Catholic faith, who is uniquely placed to contribute toward overcoming racial, ethnic and religious hatred, and eradicating poverty and hunger."

Monsignor Anthony Mancini of the Archdiocese of Montreal said some parishioners may have wanted a more progressive pope, but he advised Roman Catholics to give the new pope time, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Tuesday.

"I think we will do well to discover that there is more to him than positions that he has had to defend."

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