VATICAN CITY (AP) 78 year old Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany is the new pope. Inauguration Mass for Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday (4/24/05) at 10 a.m. (4 a.m. EDT).
NEW: Pope Benedict’s Homily (4/24/05)
Bush Reacts – Praises Ratzinger
President Bush joins other world leaders in praising the choice of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the new pope, calling him a “man of great wisdom and knowledge.”
“He’s a man who serves the Lord,” Bush tells reporters at the White House.
Fact Sheet: Papal Names
Pope Benedict XVI — formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — chose one of a number of papal names of holy origin. Benedict comes from the Latin for “blessing.”
Some experts believe the name the pope chooses offers a clue into the spirit of the new papacy.
The last pope to choose the name — Benedict XV — served during World War I and was credited with settling animosity between traditionalists and modernists. He dreamed of reunion with Orthodox Christians.
And there’s another Pope Benedict who was seen as a peacemaker. Pope Benedict XI served in the 14th century as political issues were building tension in the church.
One other aspect of the name may be appealing to the new Pope Benedict. He is known as a scholar, just like Pope Benedict XIV and Pope Benedict XI before him.
The new pope is free to pick from any of his 264 predecessors, use his own first name or come up with something new.
Choosing A New Name
- A newly-elected pope must immediately choose a name after accepting the papacy.
- This happens while cardinals are still secretly meeting in conclave.
- New popes usually pick the name of a saint or former pope they admire.
- Many see great significance in the name, indicating a pope’s beliefs and direction.
- The last completely new papal name was “Lando”. Pope Lando served 913-914.
John Paul II’s Name
- Pope John Paul II chose his name to honor his predecessor, John Paul I.
- John Paul I died just 33 days after being elected pope.
- John Paul I was honoring two former popes: John XXIII (1958-63) and Paul VI (1963-78). Those popes opened and closed the Second Vatican Council.
- The name “John Paul I” made history as the first time a pope took two names.
- Also, no one had ever added “the first” or “I” to a new pope name. But “John Paul I” put the “I” on the end of the name as he took office.
How Did Tradition Start?
- The tradition dates to 553 AD.
- The new pope then changed his name from Mercurius to John, becoming Pope John II.
- He did that as his given name, Mercurius, was derived from the name of the Roman god Mercury.
- Mercurius felt the successor to St. Peter shouldn’t have a pagan name. So he chose John, to honor a former pope.
Most Popular Pope Names
- John. There have been 23 Pope Johns. The latest (John XXIII) died in 1963.
- Gregory. There have been 16. The last served 1831-1846.
- Benedict. There have been 16, including the current pope.
- Clement. There have been 14. The most recent served 1769-1774.
- Innocent. The church has had 13 popes with that name. The last served 1721-24.
- Leo. There have been 13.
Other Pope Names
- Peter. The first pope. There has been only one.
- Pius. Relatively popular lately. Three of eight popes in the 20th century were named Pius. Pius XII died in 1958. It’s an old name; Pius I served 140-155.
- Urban. There have been eight, with the latest (Urban VIII) serving 1623-1644.
- Honorius. There were two. Honorius II served 1124-1130.
- Sisinnius. Just one. He served in 708.
- St. Hilarius. He served as pope 461-468.
- Ratzinger will take the name Pope Benedict XVI. (Who picks the Pope’s name?)
- First German Pope in 500 Years
- Crowds at Vatican City Go Wild
- World Leaders React
- Catholics React
- UK Priest ‘Shock‘ at new Pope
- Presented to the World
- Guardian of Orthodoxy
- A ‘Transition‘ Pope
- In Charge of Doctrinal Crackdowns
- Pope a Conservative who Divided Germans
- Electing a pope, the real story
- A Speedy Conclave
- Seminarians Cheer in Ratzinger’s hometown
- A Look at Previous Pope Benedicts
- Celebrating in North Dakota!
- Chicago Reacts
- Archbishop of Ireland – “Pray for the Pope”
- Lesbians and Gays Fear they will Receive the Same Hard Line Stance
- What Benedict XVI Means for the Church
- The Face of the Church
- Members of American Life League ’embrace’ New Pope
- Advocate Calls New Pope ‘Anti-Gay‘
- Human Life League ‘Hail’ Pope Election
- Chicago Tribune: ‘A Simple, Humble Worker in the Vineyard of the Lord’
- Condemns Gay Marrige, Divorse, Women in the Priesthood, and Human Cloning
- Minnesotans Share New Pope Faith, Heritage
- Canada Reacts
- New Pope was a German POW
- Nun Silenced by New Pope Unhappy with Election
- Pontiff’s Brother ‘Stunned‘
- NYT – Optimism and Concern in St. Peter’s Square
- FT – A Pope Devoted to a Dialogue on Values
- Kansas City Celebrates
- Canadian Catholics Reflect
- Anglicans Welcome Pope Benedict
- This is London: Delight!
- SwissInfo – German Pope ‘Controversial’
- Most Recent Homily Calls for Return to Doctrine
- Gloom and Pride in the Home Nation
- TIME Magazine – Assessing Pope Benedict XVI
- Ratzinger Ex-Member of Hitler Youth
- Reformists Disappointed
- Mississippi Praise!
- New Pope a Continuation of John Paul II
- BBC Pope Benedict Profile
- Book Sales Soar for New Pope
- Heneghan – Pope Must Prove He is Pastor for All
- Cheering in Connecticut
- ‘The Telegraph‘ in Calcutta – Hardliner with Steely Intellect
- WaPo – Third World Disappointment
- Pope Election a ‘Hit’ for TV Networks
- Newsweek – More of the Same
- AllAfrica.com – Pope Must Make Tough Decisions
- Benedict Showed Both Tears and Tough Talk After Death of John Paul II
- Church Finances will be a Challenge for Pope
- New Zealand Catholics React
- International Herald – Racing to the Vatican
- Daily Telegraph – Pope Could Clear Out Dead Wood
- Praise, Prayers and Concerns from World Leaders, Faithful
- AZCentral.com – Orthodoxy Rules
- Newsday.com – Some Cardinals Get Chatty After Conclave
- E.J. Dionne
- New Pope May Visit Australia
- Pope’s Task Is to Join Opponents
- The Philippines Welcomes New Pope
- German-Americans React
- The Enforcer
- The Anti-Defamation League Welcomes New Pope
- New Pope Intervened Against John Kerry in 2004 Campaign
- New Pope’s brother very concerned by election
- Pope Predicted a Short Reign to Cardinals
- New Pope Seen Continuing Relations with Israel, Jews
- Beijing Warning for New Pope
- Benedict’s Age, Health Prompt Concern
- Pope Election Good for Book Sales
- Pope Stresses Inter-Faith Dialogue
- Cardinal Predicts that Pope Will Preserve Sex Abuse Law
- New Pope Tries to Allay Fears of Rigid Papacy
- “My Goals”, by Pope Benedict XVI
- At Conclave, A Prediction and Promise
- Benedict Abused as ‘Nazi Pope’
- Germans, Brits Spar
- German Paper Outraged at British News Coverage
- Benedict Says He Prayed Not to be Elected
- Pope Benedict Vows New Battle for Souls
Dear brothers and sisters,
After the Great Pope John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me, a simple, humble worker in the Lord’s vineyard.
I am comforted by the fact that the Lord knows how to work and act even with insufficient instruments. And above all, I entrust myself to your prayers.
With the joy of the risen Lord and confidence in his constant help, we will go forward. The Lord will help us and Mary his most holy mother will be alongside us.
- Joseph Ratzinger was born April 16, 1927
- He is 78 years old and the oldest of the major contenders to be pope
- Ratzinger is German. He speaks heavily accented Italian
- He’s spent more than 24 years as a theologian at the Vatican, serving as John Paul II’s chief theological adviser
- He was most often mentioned as a “transitional” pope who could have a short reign
- He became a cardinal in 1977 by Paul VI
- Ratzinger was one of just three voting cardinals who wasn’t made a cardinal by John Paul II
- ScrappleFace.com – Kerry: Ratzinger Papal Election is ‘No Mandate’
- Relapsed Catholic
- Andrew Sullivan – ‘I should shut up now. And pray.’
- A Small Victory – Five Other Names Considered by the Pope
- Professor Bainbridge
- Ed Morrissey
- Democratic Underground Topic Thread – ‘So, How Bad is Ratzinger?’
- Vatican Watch
- The Anchoress
- Slant Point – Former Mayor Ed Koch Comments on New Pope
- Lone Star Times – Reuters Bemoans Election of “Arch-Conservative” Pope
- Occult Investigator – The Ratzinger Nazi Pope Debate
- Half-News – The 265th Pope; What’s Different?
- Amy Ridenour
- Confederate Yankee – D.U. Quote Roundup
- The Belmont Club
- Gawker – Drudge Ad Filter Not Yet Functioning Correctly
- The Moderate Voice
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, the Roman Catholic Church’s leading hard-liner, was elected the new pope Tuesday in the first conclave of the new millennium. He chose the name Benedict XVI and called himself “a simple, humble worker.”
Ratzinger, the first German pope in centuries, emerged onto the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, where he waved to a wildly cheering crowd of tens of thousands and gave his first blessing. Other cardinals clad in their crimson robes came out on other balconies to watch him after one of the fastest papal conclaves of the past century.
“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,” he said after being introduced by Chilean Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estivez.
“The fact that the Lord can work and act even with insufficient means consoles me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers,” the new pope said. “I entrust myself to your prayers.”
The crowd responded to the 265th pope by chanting “Benedict! Benedict!”
If the new pope was paying tribute to the last pontiff of that name, it could be interpreted as a bid to soften his image as the Vatican’s doctrinal hard-liner.
Benedict XV, who reigned from 1914 to 1922, was a moderate following Pius X, who had implemented a sharp crackdown against doctrinal “modernism.” He reigned during World War I and was credited with settling animosity between traditionalists and modernists, and dreamed of reunion with Orthodox Christians.
Benedict, which comes from the Latin for “blessing,” is one of a number of papal names of holy origin such as Clement (“mercy”), Innocent (“hopeful” as well as “innocent”) and Pius (“pious”).
Ratzinger turned 78 on Saturday. His age clearly was a factor among cardinals who favored a “transitional” pope who could skillfully lead the church as it absorbs John Paul II’s legacy, rather than a younger cardinal who could wind up with another long pontificate.