Cardinal Ratzinger elected new Pope

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Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, a longtime guardian of doctrinal orthodoxy, was elected the new pope Tuesday evening in the first conclave of the new millennium. He chose the name Pope Benedict XVI.

Ratzinger 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 as pope. Other cardinals clad in their crimson robes came out on other balconies to watch him.

"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.

"I entrust myself to your prayers," the pope said.Ratzinger, the first German pope in centuries, served John Paul II since 1981 as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In that position, he has disciplined church dissidents and upheld church policy against attempts by liberals for reforms. He turned 78 on Saturday.

The new pope had gone into the conclave with the most buzz among two dozen leading candidates. He had impressed many faithful with his stirring homily at the funeral of John Paul II, who died April 2 at age 84.

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