Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, the Roman Catholic Church's leading hard-liner, was elected pope Tuesday in the first conclave of the new millennium. He chose the name Benedict XVI and called himself "a simple, humble worker."Reuters describes the new pope as an
Arch-conservative... a surprise choice that delighted traditionalist Roman Catholics but stunned moderates hoping for a more liberal papacy.Pope Benedict XVI will be formally installed Sunday, but his papacy began immediately. We'll know more about how his papacy will affect the Roman Catholic Church after he gives his first homily on Wednesday.
Ratzinger, 78, the Church's 265th pontiff... is expected to defend Pope John Paul's strict orthodox legacy and reject changes in Catholic doctrine. He is the oldest man to be elected pope for three centuries and the first German pontiff for a millennium.
Many Vatican experts had said Ratzinger, John Paul's tough doctrinal watchdog for 23 years, was too divisive and too old to become pope.