I doubt he'll bring the church forward like Pope John-Paul II. This new guy is very conservative/orthodox. He has a track record of "doctrinal crackdowns". He is responsible for a lot of the conservative policies that have come out of Rome in the recent years. (including policies preventing Catholics from mingling with other faiths in religious ceremonies, and decrees from Rome that prevent Catholic priests from counselling pregnant teens about their options)
I wonder as well about the whole electing of an old guy. I mean, how much wiser is a 78 year old over a 60 year old? Not much if any. Pope John Paul II was like 58 when he was elected.
Whatever, doesn't matter all that much to me. Lutherans don't have Popes.
This dude is a transitional guy. they know hes got some big shoes to fill. once the hoo ha about john paul dies down, this guys only got a few years left and they can elect a younger more active pope. that way it doesnt appear that hes "competing" with john paul.
I dont think that this was a "PR" move, the guy took over because he was qualified I guess..Im not a Cardinal though, I'm just an average Catholic so I don't have any say in the matter..I just gotta like the guy..