Benedict XVI and the Evangelicals: evolution and "faith alone"
Evangelical Protestants are going to have very positive relationship with this Pope. You can see it already in Benedict XVI's inaugural message:
"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary. There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him."
Now Benedict here is not denying evolution as a scientific theory, but he is denying that evolution is the final truth about the human soul: the human soul is a direct miracle of God, and as directly created by God our souls are born to know Jesus Christ in the Gospel. This should be music to many evangelical ears.
Perhaps even more important is the new pope's affirmation of justification by faith alone. As Cardinal Ratzinger, he played a key role in writing the Joint Declaration on Justification with the Lutherans in which the Catholic Church affirms: "Together we confess: By grace alone, in faith in Christ's saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works" (JD 15). "Justification takes place "by grace alone" (JD 15 and 16), by faith alone, the person is justified "apart from works" (Rom 3:28, cf. JD 25)." While North American evangelicals differ on some points of justification with traditional Lutherans, the key thing is that there is a fundamental consensus on justification between evangelicals and Catholics, a consensus that will be powerfully supported by the work of this pope.
The pope is--of course--Catholic, and many of the traditional differences between Catholics and evangelicals remain. But this pope will be powerful testimony to the truth of the good news of Jesus Christ. And that will cheer evangelicals and Catholics alike.