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St. Mary's Cathedral, Japan
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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 must do more in the modern political field. The papacy generates a strong influence both in the Christian and non-Christian communities and will serve well to settle disputes among nations. The Catholic spiritual base has been made strong by Pope John Paul II and next pope's mission is to continue and even enhance that spirituality by spreading the good news of God. There are also economic opportunities should the next pope be able to strengthen his political base to various nations.
Mike Mercado; Cebu City, Philippines
I think a challenge would be a debate on views about sex before marriage, contraception and divorce. The current practice of people in America, where sex before marriage is a concern, differs from the teachings of the church. On the other side of the world, the conservative thoughts of Asia have been changing to reflect the liberal practice of the West, whether in terms of sex before marriage or divorce. These are immediate issues that need to be addressed and are equally as important as the issue on terrorism. There is an impending need for church laws to be reviewed and made more current and relevant to today's world.
Desiree Chung; Singapore
The biggest challenge is to educate teens about sex and abortion without losing more Catholics around the world.
James Lio Siang Wei; Kuching, Malaysia
The challenges and opportunities that the next pope will face will still be the decline of morality, especially among the youth. The increasing rate of poverty in developing countries has contributed to the people questioning about the existence of God. The faithful do not expect the new pope to be the same as Pope John Paul II but he should be someone who can lead the Catholic faithful on the right path.
Elaine L. Uy; Davao City, Philippines
Celibacy of priests must be addressed; pedophiles in the priesthood; women's ordination; contraception; divorce -- particularly the issue of remarriage to a non-Catholic, with the prohibition of the reception of Communion; changing the antiquated idea that only those who believe in Jesus can go to heaven -- this is wrong and is offensive to Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, atheists.
Barbara Cavolick; Takahama-shi, Aichi-ken, Japan
A major issue that concerned Pope John Paul II was violation of human rights. I think the new Pope has many other challenges to cope with. First and foremost is to keep the Church united without putting pressure on the clergy.
Regi Xavier; New Delhi, India
The next pope should be the one who cares about people's pains, sufferings, as well as happiness.
Vu Thi Hien; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam