Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, the Roman Catholic Church's leading hard-liner, was elected 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."
He's got big shoes to fill and the left is already chomping at the bit to criticize him.