Germany’s Joseph Ratzinger was electedthe 265th pope of the Roman Catholic Church on Tuesday andwill take the name Benedict XVI, the Vatican announced.The name of the 78-year-old Ratzinger was announced to acrowd of around 100,000 pilgrims by Cardinal Jorge MedinaEstevez of Chile, the senior cardinal deacon, from thebalcony of St Peter’s Basilica.

When the name of the new pope was announced, some members ofthe crowd cheered, but others were disappointed. In ahopeful note, Benedict XV was known as a pope ofreconciliation in the early part of the 20th Century,because of his ability to balance the needs of both liberaland conservative Catholics.
read more has received the following letter from areader who is presently in Rome for the funeral of Pope JohnPaul II: I am writing you from Rometoday. It is the most blessed human experience I have everknown. I work in Milan and have come down here to honor thepope. When Mr. Hesemann said on your program that he was themost important pope for the past 1,000 years, he was tellingthe truth. This is the man who brought down the Iron Curtainand ended the Cold War. But that is not what this isabout?this is about life in the streets of what has becometruly a holy more

The Vatican announced at noon Pacific time that Pope JohnPaul II has died. He reigned as pope for 26 years, thesecond longest pontificate in history. During this time, hewas steadfastly conservative, an outspoken adherent toCatholic tradition. He was the 265th pope. The Catholicpapacy is the longest continuous governmental officepresently in existence. It has lasted since theestablishment of the pontificate of St. Peter in 32AD, for1,973 years. Only the Pharaonic institution of ancient Egyptlasted longer. It continued for 3,120 years.
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The Vatican has announced thatPope John Paulhas been given the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church.Unknowncountry’s Vatican source reports that he has a highfever and his doctors are concerned that he may not surviveanother twenty-four hours. He has a severe urinary tractinfection and is under intensive medical care. The infectionresponds well to antibiotics, and it is still possible thatthe Pope will recover fromthis latest health setback.

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