Ratzinger, who took the name Benedict XVI, appeared on the balcony
of the Vatican Basilica to greet the people and deliver his first papal
"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," The Associated Press quoted him as saying.
the archbishop of Munich, Germany, and for many years prefect of the
Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, Ratzinger, 78, was one
of the most powerful men in the Vatican and is widely acknowledged as a
Ratzinger served for 20 years as John Paul II’s chief theological adviser.
Yahoo! News has reported as follows:
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."
On Monday, Ratzinger, who was the powerful dean of the College of
Cardinals, used his homily at the Mass dedicated to electing the next
pope to warn the faithful about tendencies that he considered dangers
to the faith: sects, ideologies like Marxism, liberalism, atheism,
agnosticism and relativism — the ideology that there are no absolute
"Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the church, is often
labeled today as a fundamentalism," he said, speaking in Italian.
"Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and ‘swept
along by every wind of teaching,’ looks like the only attitude
acceptable to today’s standards.
Ratzinger 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.