Archbishop Sean Brady said Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who will be known as Pope Benedict XVI, was a man of ability with “great simplicity of life”.
“He will also be very keen on dialogue with people of other faiths and other churches,” he said.
Irish President Mary McAleese has conveyed her sincere good wishes to Cardinal Ratzinger on his election to the Chair of Peter.
In her message, President McAleese said:
“The world responded in grief and wonder to the passing of John Paul II. The election of his successor became the concern of very many people throughout the world.
“You embody their hopes for greater unity among peoples and a more just and caring human family. Your guidance and leadership amid the complexities of modern life will be crucial.
“May your acceptance of this tremendous burden of service bear fruit in our world. May God give you strength for these new cares.”
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern extedned the best wishes of the Irish people to the new Pope.
“On behalf of the Government and the people of Ireland, I extend my warmest congratulations and best wishes to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger on his election as Pope Benedict XVI.
“The scenes of rejoicing and excitement which we have witnessed in St.Peter`s this evening express the goodwill which people around the world, of all religions and none, will feel towards the new Pope.
“The awesome responsibility that comes with occupying the See of Peter has, if anything, been increased by the scale of the impact made by his predecessor, the late Pope John Paul II. The worldwide impact of that pontificate, and the outpouring of sorrow at his death, represents a resource and a source of encouragement for the new Pope.
“It demonstrates that the world is waiting to hear his voice and receive his blessing. Pope Benedict XVI is a man of profound learning and knows only too well the pressures which await him in the office of Pope.
“He has chosen a name which associates him with the great mission of peace of the occupants of the See of Peter. All Irish men and women, whatever their tradition, will wish him well. He will have the prayers and good wishes of the Christian people of Ireland, especially, of course, of the Roman Catholic community, here as around the world.”