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April 19, 2005

Cardinals elect new pope

by Grace Harter, Page Editor
This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from The Washington Post articles "New Pope Benedict XVI Announced" and "Ratzinger's Challenge". Silver Chips Online posts these news summaries to provide readers with a forum for discussion.


Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany was elected pope on Tuesday by the Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church. He was elected after two days of deliberation subsequent to Pope John Paul II's death 17 days ago.

Bells rang in St. Peter's Square as Ratzinger, 78, became the first German pope since the 11th century. Known as one of the most conservative members of the Vatican, Ratzinger has often defended the traditional doctrine of the church, especially on social issues, according to The Washington Post.

Last August, he sent a letter to Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington, recommending that the cardinal deny pro-choice congregants Communion and not support any political candidates who believe in abortion rights. Ratzinger also drew criticism when he recommended that Turkey not be admitted to the European Union because of its ties to Islam.

According to The Washington Post, Ratzinger has also taken a conservative stance on social issues such as homosexuality, which he believes is evil. He also feels that feminism often causes fights between men and women. He strongly opposes cloning, calling it a form of "weapons of mass destruction."

Ratzinger was always considered a strong candidate for the papacy because he was close to John Paul II and gained support as the old pope grew weaker. Ratzinger was almost a clear winner for the papacy in everything but his age. He is the oldest person to become pope in history and took the name Pope Benedict XVI.



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  • Anonymous on April 19, 2005 at 3:11 PM
    Ask Seventh-Day Adventist what they think.
  • Arinze for pope on April 19, 2005 at 3:47 PM
    An underwhelming choice
  • katie on April 19, 2005 at 3:48 PM
    he sounds pretty lame
  • Anarchist on April 19, 2005 at 4:05 PM
    This is an understandable choice. After a young, reformist pope the Cardinals would likely want a short-term traditionalist to allow time to synthesize the reforms with Church doctrine.
  • shish kabob on April 19, 2005 at 4:14 PM
    i dont understand why the catholic cardinals (or what ever you call them) are giving these popes such weird names. i mean WHO gives someone a name like...Pope Benedict XVI?! what da heck?! is this benedict arnold's son?
  • saraha on April 19, 2005 at 4:57 PM
    shish kabob:
    *from yahoo*, Benedict comes from the Latin for "blessing" and is one of a number of papal names of holy origin such as Clement ("mercy"), Innocent ("hopeful" as well as "innocent") and Pius ("pious").

    God Bless the new Pope.
  • fyi on April 19, 2005 at 5:03 PM
    Also, the popes choose their new names.
  • SCO Lover on April 19, 2005 at 5:14 PM
    Man, that was up quick! Good job Grace!
  • hmmmm on April 19, 2005 at 5:37 PM
    I'm rather impressed by the response time, here... I honest thought this would take a day or two, but this is awesome! Congratulations once again on a job well done, SCO!
  • abdullah jamaal (View Email) on April 19, 2005 at 6:48 PM
    Terrible choice. He is far too conservative.
  • he's german on April 19, 2005 at 7:22 PM
    he might be old..but at least he's german! yay
  • blah on April 19, 2005 at 8:02 PM
    yay for timeliness!
  • too bad on April 19, 2005 at 8:58 PM
    It's unfortunate that another conservative pope was chosen. Despite John Paul II's conservative sentiments, I felt like he was a good promoter of peace around the world. I'm not so sure about Ratzinger. I think it's time for the church to take a look at its more antiquated policies and unfortunately, Ratzinger is not going to even offer a discussion on these issues.
  • Anonymous on April 19, 2005 at 9:12 PM
    I don't see why there's such fuss over this pope thingy. Of course Catholics would care, but this was on national news stations the whole day yesterday. They had a screen showing the smokestacks the whole day, couldn't they have just waited for the choice to be made then report on it? They didn't even talk about the school bus crash, front page on the Post.
  • agno on April 19, 2005 at 10:22 PM
    I'm not religious in any serious way, but this choice of Pope is rather disturbing. Ratzinger's (Benedict) overtly conservative statements as the enforcer for John Paul do not lend much hope for Christian relations across the world (Ratzinger once said that followers of other religions were deficient to Christians). Like I first said, I'm not religious, so I'm not concerned about the church, but the impacts that the Popes make on the world leads me to worry about the selection of Ratzinger.
  • junior of faith on April 19, 2005 at 11:52 PM
    the church is trying to catch its breath after jpII's papacy of change. ratzinger is certainly not my first choice for pope--rather, he's probably among my last choices--but he's 78, so hopefully he won't last too long. maybe then we can get a latino or an african to lead the church.

    Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of honduras would have been the best call for pope.

    also, to "too bad," i think that it is inaccurate to call john paul II conservative simply because he was against abortion etc.--at the same time, he was against war and fought poverty. why do these issues take a back seat to issues like homosexuality when we characterize the pope's views?
  • too bad on April 20, 2005 at 1:10 PM
    junior of faith - i agree. john paul II's stance on war and poverty was much, much more important that abortion etc. I should have said that he was conservative on social issues, which he undoubtably was.
  • Non-Catholic on April 21, 2005 at 8:20 PM
    Lots of people seem scared because he served in the Nazi Army. But people don't know he deserted it at the age of 18 :|
  • non-stupid on April 25, 2005 at 12:18 PM
    He was never in the "Nazi Army", he was a hitler youth, because it wasn't optional.
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