Pope Benedict the 16th is the Catholic Church's first new leader of the millennium. Cardinals selected Joseph Ratzinger as the successor to John Paul in the first full day of the papal conclave. He chose the name Benedict.
The German conservative was greeted by throngs of wildly cheering people when he walked out onto the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica. Pilgrims chanted "Benedict! Benedict!" for the church's 265th pope. In his first words to his followers, Benedict called himself "a simple, humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord."
He said, "I entrust myself to your prayers." Since 1981, Ratzinger had been in charge of promoting church orthodoxy as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Cardinals make quick choice Pope Benedict the 16th's selection is one of the fastest in the past century. Cardinals chose Joseph Ratzinger to be the next pope in just the first full day of the papalFull Story >
Ratzinger chooses name of holy origin Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger chose one of a number of papal names of holy origin. Benedict comes from the Latin for "blessing." The last pope to choose the name Full Story >