New Pope

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

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April 19, 2005 : Cardinals elected Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the new Pope. He will be called Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Medina Estevez announced the 265th Pope. Cardinal Ratzinger appeared on the balcony of the Vatican palace to greet the public and give his tradition "Urbi et Orbi" blessing to the world. White smoke was seen billowing from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel after a conclave lasting a little more than 24 hours, suggesting a new leader has been elected. The ringing of the bell accompanied the announcement. A cardinal appeared on the balcony over St Peter's Square within 45 minutes of the announcement to introduce the new Pope to thousands of pilgrims at the square.

Cardinal Ratzinger was chosen on the fourth ballot held by the 115 cardinals meeting to select a successor to Pope John Paul II.

He was born on April 16, 1927 in Germany, and was ordained on June 29, 1951. A theologian from Germany, his job has earned him the nickname of "the Pope's enforcer" and he has been accused of trying to silence church dissidents. Addressing the faithful after being elected the Pope, Ratzinger said, "The cardinals have elected me to work in the vineyard of the lord.". Ratzinger has served the Vatican for over 20 years.


Name Joseph Ratzinger
Papacy began April 19, 2005
Papacy ended Incumbent
Predecessor Pope John Paul II
Successor Incumbent
Born April 16, 1927
Place of birth Marktl am Inn, Bavaria, Germany
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