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UPI reporter with excellent German connections wrote on Friday that Cardinal Ratzinger now has at least 60 votes of the 77 needed for the required two-thirds vote, and more than half of all votes. This reporter has a very good record for accurate Vatican reporting cites a very high opinion of Ratzinger among Protestant theologians in Germany, in contrast to views of Ratzinger in the Western secular press. UPI:

In truth, though, this soft-spoken Bavarian, who was consecrated priest at
age 24, “is not so much doctrinaire as he is committed to the truth and
sound doctrine,” a leading Protestant theologian told United Press
International Friday.

“He is arguably the Catholic Church’s finest theologian, in addition to
being a very humble and deeply religious man.

“If he is to be the next pontiff, we may expect extraordinary surprises of
him,” said this scholar who knows Ratzinger well but asked to remain

One surprise may pertain to ecumenism and especially Eucharistic
Vatican observers said. While Ratzinger played an important role in the
drafting of the papal encyclical “Ecclesia de Eucharistia” (Church of the
Eucharist), which generally rules out intercommunion between Catholics and
Protestants, he is known to have made some remarkable exceptions to this
rule himself.

At the funeral Mass for John Paul II, Ratzinger communed the Rev. Roger
Schutz, a Swiss Protestant pastor and founder of the Taizé ecumenical
community in France.

A German Lutheran theologian well known to the cardinal told UPI that he,
too, received the sacrament from his hands.