We have a Pope! Cardinal Ratzinger is Pope Benedict XVI
Congratulations to Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI.
Here's some links on Cardinal Josef Ratzinger
Catholic-hierarchy entry on Cardinal Ratzinger
BBC profile on Ratzinger
Wikipedia on Ratzinger
Cardinal Rating on Ratzinger
I am very surprised. I did say in an earlier post that Ratzinger would not be a good choice but he would be a prudent choice. So I'm not sure why I am so shocked.
First, why Benedict XVI? Well Benedict XV followed on the heels of another saint pope, Pius X. Pius X, among other things, was deeply involved in crushing modernism and he inspired a witch hunt across the world in dioceses as mini-inquisitions were set up.
Benedict XV was widely seen as a good man, who actually fell under the suspicion of modernism and even though he continued with his predecessor's crack down, he softened things up a bit. It was under his watch though, that the Papacy fell from its status as an influential world power. Through no fault of his own, as a great General once noted, the Papacy has no guns and in the midst of World War I, as Captain Janeway of Voyager would say, "unless you have something larger in those firing tubes, I think you'd better excuse me."
Here's stuff on Pope Benedict XV
Wikipedia on Benedict XV
The Holy See on Pope Benedict XV
First world War.com's entry on Pope Benedict XV
Another short summary here of Pope Benedict XV
And this from the Papal Library
I think Ratzinger's choice of Benedict is that he will continue JPII's legacy without trying to duplicate him, thus no John Paul III. Also, just as Benedict followed on the heels of another saint Pope, Ratzinger is probably making two points, one that JPIIis a saint in his eyes and will be recongnized as such, if he has anything to do with it, and that he wants a low profile, a papacy more about his predecessor than himself.
I also feel that the Cardinals have decided to take on and finally destroy the liberal wing of the Church and just as Pope John Paul II dealt many blows to it, Ratzinger, at the end of the day, may be known as Pope Benedict the Iron Fist. This was a George Bush divisive type selection, so I guess we know what to expect. The good thing for His Holiness is that he already enjoys infallibility so that wouldn't be much of an adjustment for him.
But, I'm happy for him. He did his time. He served JPII faithfully. We'll just have to see. One immediate effect is that it'll have a positive effect on World Youth Day coming up in Cologne.
Anyway, I'm afraid to say it, but, long live Pope Benedict XVI!