San Francisco Prelate Gets a Private Audience

Worked With Cardinal Ratzinger at Doctrinal Congregation

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 3, 2005 ( Benedict XVI received an old friend, Archbishop William Levada of San Francisco, California, in private audience.

Archbishop Levada, 68, worked with the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as an official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith when the latter became prefect in 1981.

The California-born prelate was a member of the Editorial Committee for the Catechism of the Catholic Church, from 1986 to 1994. Since 2002, he has been a bishop-member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Archbishop Levada explained in a statement that, thanks to these experiences, «I have come to know him as unfailingly gracious and fair by personal temperament, as well as keenly interested in and knowledgeable about pastoral concerns throughout the universal Church.»

He added: «Cardinal Ratzinger’s long hoped-for return to his native Bavaria at the end of his service in the Vatican has now been given a new direction and challenge by Divine Providence. May we all support Pope Benedict XVI in the daunting task he has been asked to assume. May God grant him full measure of divine grace and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.»

The Holy Father also met today with Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, major archbishop of Lviv of the Ukrainians.

In addition, the Pope continued with the personal meetings he began on Monday with the bishops of Sri Lanka. In particular, he received Bishop Thomas Savundaranayagam of Jaffna and Bishop Joseph Vianney Fernando of Kandy.

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