In his own words
ON POPE JOHN PAUL II
"Today we bury his remains in the earth as a seed of immortality. Our hearts are full of sadness, yet at the same time [full] of joyful hope and profound gratitude." - from homily during Pope John Paul II's funeral April 8.
"We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one's own ego and one's own desires." - from a homily delivered hours before the beginning of this week's papal conclave.
"It is true that the Muslim world is not totally mistaken when it reproaches the West of Christian tradition of moral decadence and the manipulation of human life. ... Islam has also had moments of great splendor and decadence." - from "Ratzinger denies Christianity 'superior' to Islam," Zenit.org via Catholic News, March 6, 2002.
"That the Jews are connected with God in a special way ... is entirely obvious. We wait for the instant in which Israel will say yes to Christ, but we know that it has a special mission in history now." - from book God and the World, published October 2000, as reported by National Catholic Reporter.
ON WOMEN'S ORDINATION
"The fact that the church is convinced of not having the right to confer priestly ordination on women is now considered by some as irreconcilable with the European Constitution." - from Zenit.org, April 11.
ON SEX ABUSE SCANDALS
"In the Church, priests also are sinners. But I am personally convinced that the constant presence in the press of the sins of Catholic priests, especially in the United States, is a planned campaign, as the percentage of these offenses among priests is not higher than in other categories, and perhaps it is even lower." - from "Cardinal Ratzinger Sees a Media Campaign Against Church," Zenit.org, Dec. 3, 2002.
"Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered to an intrinsic moral evil, and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder." - from "Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons," 1986, as reported by National Catholic Reporter.