German cardinal elected new pope

Joseph Ratzinger will be Pope Benedict XVI


List of all 265 Popes from St. Peter to Pope Benedict XVI


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THE 265th POPE - Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany has been elected by the conclave of cardinals to succeed John Paul II. He chose the name Pope Benedict XVI.


The crowds awaiting

The white smoke

The Bells ringing


Crowds cheering

The balcony awaiting

The announcement:


VATICAN CITY (CNN) -- Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany has been selected by the Roman Catholic church as the new pope.


Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez of Chile made the announcement to a cheering crowd in St. Peter's Square. Ratzinger, who took the name Benedict XVI, appeared on the balcony of the Vatican Basilica to greet the people and deliver his first papal blessing.

Earlier, white smoke rose from a Sistine Chapel chimney and bells rang Tuesday, signaling the selection of a new pope.


The crowd clapped and waved flags as the smoke began to billow over Vatican City about 5:50 p.m. (11:50 a.m. ET).


Suspense built as the throng waited for the symbolic ringing of bells, at which point the crowd broke into a roar of jubilation.

The conclave of 115 cardinals had voted three times previously -- once Monday night and twice Tuesday morning -- before selecting the new pope.


The cardinals' morning ballots were burned at about 11:50 a.m. (5:50 a.m. EDT).


Chemicals are added to the ballots to turn the smoke white or black.


Pope John Paul II, who died April 2 at age 84, had decreed that white smoke be accompanied by the ringing of bells, to avoid a repeat of the confusion after his election in 1978.


Ratzinger needed two-thirds of the votes to be selected.


Speculation rife


There has been a great deal of speculation about who may be chosen to succeed John Paul II, who died April 2 at the age of 84, but cardinals have been mum.


Some taking part in the conclave said they are looking for a leader who presents a hopeful vision, who can "generate some dynamism and some optimism within Catholicism," CNN Vatican analyst John Allen said.


The first clues to the process of finding a successor were sought during the homily or sermon delivered by Ratzinger at Monday's public Mass.

"Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism," Ratzinger said.


Allen said Ratzinger delivered a "very blunt" message for the church to "stay true to itself."


That was a strong indication that Ratzinger, 78, wants a "traditionalist" elected the next pope, Allen said.


John Paul was widely credited with extending the reach of the papacy. He spoke more than a dozen languages and set an unprecedented pattern of pastoral travel, drawing huge crowds all over the world.


He was also strictly traditional on issues of sexuality and the role of women in the church, which won him support among some Catholics but alienated others. Similar disagreement exists over the next pontiff's stances on issues such as birth control, stem cell research and the ordination of female priests.


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Biographical notes


Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith , President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and International Theological Commission, Dean of the College of Cardinals, was born on 16 April 1927 in Marktl am Inn, Germany. He was ordained a priest on 29 June 1951.

His father, a police officer, came from a traditional family of farmers from Lower Baviera. He spent his adolescent years in Traunstein, and was called into the auxiliary anti-aircraft service in the last months of World War II. From 1946 to 1951, the year in which he was ordained a priest and began to teach, he studied philosophy and theology at the University of Munich and at the higher school in Freising. In 1953 he obtained a doctorate in theology with a thesis entitled: "The People and House of God in St. Augustine’s doctrine of the Church".

Four years later, he qualified as a university teacher. He then taught dogma and fundamental theology at the higher school of philosophy and theology of Freising, then in Bonn from 1959 to 1969, Munster from 1963 to 1966, Tubinga from 1966 to 1969.

From 1969, he was a professor of dogmatic theology and of the history of dogma at the University of Regensburg and Vice President of the same university.

Already in 1962 he was well known when, at the age of 35, he became a consultor at Vatican Council II, of the Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Joseph Frings. Among his numerous publications, a particular post belongs to the “Introduction to Christianity”, a collection of university lessons on the profession of apostolic faith, published in 1968; Dogma and revelation, an anthology of essays, sermons and reflections dedicated to the pastoral ministry, published in 1973.

In March 1977, Paul VI elected him Archbishop of Munich and Freising and on 28 May 1977 he was consecrated, the first diocesan priest after 80 years to take over the pastoral ministry of this large Bavarian diocese.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Paul VI in the consistory of 27 June 1977. Titular churches, suburbicarian see of Velletri-Segni (5 April 1993) and suburbicarian see of Ostia (30 November 2002).

On 25 November 1981 he was nominated by John Paul II Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; President of the Biblical Commission and of the Pontifical International Theological Commission.

Relator of the 5th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (1980).

President Delegate to the 6th Synodal Assembly (1983).

Elected Vice Dean of the College of Cardinals, 6 November 1998.  On 30 November 2002, the Holy Father approved the election, by the order of cardinal bishops, as Dean of the College of Cardinals.

President of the Commission for the Preparation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and after 6 years of work (1986-92) he presented the New Catechism to the Holy Father.

Laurea honoris causa in jurisprudence from the Libera Universite Maria Santissima Assunta, 10 November 1999.

Honorary member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, 13 November 2000.

Curial Membership:

·         Secretariat of State (second section)

·         Oriental Churches, Divine Worship and Sacraments, Bishops, Evangelization of Peoples, Catholic Education (congregations)

·         Christian Unity, Culture (councils)

  • Latin America, Ecclesia Dei (commissions)

German Cardinal Ratzinger Elected Pope Benedict XVI

April 19 (Bloomberg) -- German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who worked closely with John Paul II in enforcing church doctrine for much of the past quarter-century, was elected pope to lead the world's 1 billion Catholics. He chose the name Benedict XVI.

The 78-year-old pontiff was introduced about an hour after the white smoke wafted from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel to signal the election of the 265th pope. Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez of Chile, the senior cardinal deacon, stepped onto the balcony above the main doors of St. Peter's Basilica and announced ``Habemus Papam'' -- ``We have a pope!''

Benedict XVI then blessed the crowd in Italian, one of the 10 languages he speaks, and told the thousands of people in St. Peter's Square, ``Dear brothers and sisters, after the great Pope John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me -- a simple, humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord.''

The pontiff was a close associate of the late pontiff, and helped him craft and enforce church theology since 1981, when he was appointed head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. His fellow 114 cardinals needed only 2 days and 4 ballots to reach the two-thirds majority needed to become the successor to John Paul II, who died April 2 at the age of 84.


Friend's Funeral


One of his final acts as a cardinal was to celebrate the funeral Mass for John Paul at St. Peter's, which was followed by millions of mourners around the globe. His homily centered on the life of the late pontiff who, he said, ``gave of himself to the very end.'' Where John Paul was a sunny, optimistic leader, Ratzinger has said the church has much to fear.

In his homily at the special mass that started the conclave's secret voting April 18, the new pontiff told the cardinals not to stray from John Paul II's orthodoxy. He said the Church was at risk of a ``dictatorship of relativism,'' the belief that there is no single truth, and urged his fellow cardinals not to give in to calls for change.

``He has been a point of reference my whole intellectual life,'' said Rocco Buttiglione president of the Union of Christian Democrats in Italy and former minister of European Union affairs, who has know Ratzinger since 1972 and was in St. Peter's Square for the announcement. ``He was a great collaborator of John Paul. He will continue in his spirit even if the two men have very different characters.''


Catholic Superiority


Ratzinger has faced opposition among German Catholics for his stand on issues such as birth control, celibacy and women's role in the church. As a young priest he espoused progressive ideas on theological debates, until the student revolutions of 1968 instilled a distrust of the left in him that caused him to shift to a orthodox stance.

In 2002, Ratzinger wrote a document called ``Dominus Jesus'' in which he asserted the superiority of the Catholic Church over other Christian Churches.

Ratzinger played a role in ousting priests including Leonardo Boff and Eugen Drewermann from their offices for not following Catholic policy. He also confirmed a ban on German priest Gotthold Hasenhuettl for holding a joint communion service with Protestants at an event in Berlin two years ago after John Paul II had voiced his disapproval.

Ratzinger was born April 16, 1927, in the Bavarian town of Marktl am Inn. He studied philosophy and theology in Munich and Freising, where he was ordained in 1951. He taught at the universities of Bonn, Muenster, Tuebingen and Regensburg.


Traditional Approach


Ratzinger was considered a liberal thinker for taking a democratic approach on the church that involved focusing on worshippers rather than on the institution. He began to favor a more traditional approach after he became archbishop of Munich in March 1977 and cardinal three months later.

``By then he had become a high representative of the Catholic Church and began to take on hierarchical views favored by the Vatican,'' said Magdalene Bussmann, a German theologian, in an interview.

``Ratzinger is a very different man from Pope John Paul even if he was his chief theologian and very close to him,'' Bussmann said. ``He's very academic. He won't be a man of the masses, not a touchy-feely sort of pope.''



New conservative pope Ratzinger a favorite son in Alpine hills of Bavaria


TRAUNSTEIN, Germany - Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger alienated some Roman Catholics in Germany with his zeal enforcing church orthodoxy. But in the conservative Alpine foothills of Bavaria where he grew up, he remains a favorite son who many think will make a good pope.

Ratzinger, a rigorously conservative guardian of doctrinal orthodoxy who turned 78 on Saturday and was chosen the Catholic Church’s 265th pontiff Tuesday, went into the Vatican conclave a leading candidate to succeed Pope John Paul II.

“Only someone who knows tradition is able to shape the future,” said the Rev. Thomas Frauenlob, who heads the seminary in Traunstein where Ratzinger studied and regularly returns to visit.


Clashes with fellow Germans

But opinion about him remains deeply divided in Germany, a sharp contrast to John Paul, who was revered in his native Poland. A recent poll for Der Spiegel news weekly said Germans opposed Ratzinger becoming pope outnumbered supporters 36 percent to 29 percent, with 17 percent having no preference. The poll of 1,000 people, taken April 5-7, gave no margin of error.

Many blame Ratzinger for decrees from Rome barring Catholic priests from counseling pregnant teens on their options and blocking German Catholics from sharing communion with their Lutheran brethren at a joint gathering in 2003.

Ratzinger has clashed with prominent theologians at home, most notably the liberal Hans Kueng, who helped him get a teaching post at the University of Tuebingen in the 1960s. The cardinal later publicly criticized Kueng, whose license to teach theology was revoked by the Vatican in 1979.


'He always stood on his principle'

He has also sparred openly in articles with fellow German Cardinal Walter Kasper, a moderate who has urged less centralized church governance and is considered a dark horse papal candidate.

“He has hurt many people and far overstepped his boundaries in Germany,” said Christian Wiesner, spokesman for the pro-reform Wir Sind Kirche, or We Are Church movement.

Ratzinger himself, in his autobiography, sensed he was out of step with his fellow Germans as early as the 1960s, when he was a young assistant at the Second Vatican Council in Rome.

Returning to Germany between sessions, “I found the mood in the church and among theologians to be agitated,” he wrote. “More and more there was the impression that nothing stood fast in the church, that everything was up for revision.”

Ratzinger left Tuebingen during student protests in the late 1960s and moved to the more conservative University of Regensburg in his home state of Bavaria.

Catholics and Protestants each account for about 34 percent of the German population, but Bavaria is one of the more heavily Catholic areas.

“What Wadowice was for John Paul, Bavaria is for Ratzinger,” said Frauenlob, referring to John Paul II’s hometown in southern Poland. “He has very deep roots here, it’s his home.”


Son of a policeman

The cardinal was born in Marktl Am Inn, but his father, a policeman, moved frequently and the family left when he was 2.

He and his older brother, Georg — former director of the renowned Regensburger Domspatzen boys choir — return annually to the peaceful halls of St. Michael’s Seminary to stay in the elegant, but sparsely furnished bishop’s apartment next to the church.

An accomplished pianist who loves Mozart, Ratzinger enjoys playing the grand piano in the seminary’s main hall, and walking through downtown Traunstein greeting people, Frauenlob said.

Traunstein was also where Ratzinger went through the harrowing years of Nazi rule and World War II. In 1943, he was drafted as an assistant to a Nazi anti-aircraft unit and sent to Munich. A year later he was released, only to be sent to the Austrian-Hungarian border to construct tank barriers.


Briefly held by Americans as POW

He deserted the Germany army in May 1945 and returned to Traunstein — a risky move, since deserters were shot on the spot if caught, or publicly hanged as examples to others.

When he arrived home, U.S. soldiers took him prisoner and held him in a POW camp for several weeks. Upon his release, he re-entered the seminary.

Ratzinger was ordained, along with his brother, in 1951. He then spent several years teaching theology. In 1977, he was appointed bishop of Munich and elevated to cardinal three months later by Pope Paul VI.

Pope John Paul II named him leader of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1981, where he was responsible for enforcing Catholic orthodoxy and was one of the key men in the drive to shore up the faith of the world’s Roman Catholics.


Called a subtle thinker

Ratzinger speaks several languages, among them Italian and English, as well as his native language German.

Frauenlob calls him a subtle thinker with a deep understanding of Catholic tradition and a personal touch he’s not often given credit for.

He cites the example of the seminary’s 2003 confirmation service where no bishop was available. Ratzinger swiftly agreed to come, confirming the 14 boys, then taking time to speak personally to each one after the ceremony.

“I find it hurtful to see him described as a hard-liner,” Frauenlob said. “People are too quick to say that, it’s not an accurate reflection of his personality.”




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