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(CNN) -- CNN.com asked users to share their thoughts about the political, spiritual, economic and other global issues the next pope will face. Here is a sampling from thousands of responses, some of which have been edited:
The new pope should be prepared to maintain the growing population of Catholics in Africa and other continents. He should also brace up to reverse the declining number of Catholic faithful in America.
Peter Odo; Abuja, Nigeria
The modern political problems that will affect the pope especially in Africa are current wars and power struggles by African leaders who by all means don't want to leave power, and of course the issue of homosexuality that is now affecting the Church.
Tumwesigye; Kampala, Uganda
I believe the next pope will be faced with moral and social problems like the Church's stand on abortion, homosexuality and, above all, the issue of spirituality in the 21st Century.
Tunde Omogbai; Lagos, Nigeria
I just hope that the next pope could also follow those footsteps, and make a stronger effort and investment in the Third World countries ... I am Catholic and stand behind the strong beliefs [Pope John Paul II] had on abortion and condoms, but I hope that a compromise can be reached on condom use, because of the devastation that AIDS is having on our continent.
Ike Herbst; Mbabane, Swaziland
His eminence Pope John Paul II did leave a legacy behind which should serve as a road map for action by the next pope.
E.N.K.T. Essel; Accra, Ghana
The next pope will have more challenges in the church to confront. Issues of women priests, gays and homosexuals in churches amidst dwindling numbers in the developed countries. In Africa and other developing countries, it will be an issue of fighting the global imbalance and an attempt to reduce poverty through fair trade and fair global policies.
Campion Benjamin; Kumasi, Ghana
The next pope will have to tackle the ever rising issue of racism in the whole world over -- the injustice of man-to-man meted out by the world super powers to the underprivileged, especially what is going on in Iraq and the looming war in Iran and North Korea. He will also have to tackle the ever-volatile co-existence of the different religions of the world vis-a-vis the upsurge of fight between the Muslims and Christians the world over.
Enechi Thomas Onyekachukwu; Lagos, Nigeria
He will face the problem of celibacy -- whether they (secular clergy) should marry or not, the loss of vocations especially in the European nations, the radical and conservative stand of the Catholic church on contraceptives and abortion, the ordination of women as clergy/priests,and the recognition of same sex marriage in the church. Finally, I think he will spend most of his time to measure up to the standard of the late pope, because, the whole world will be looking up to him for his comments on the above issues and many more.
Dominic; Nairobi, Kenya