World welcomes Pope Benedict XVI

We have a new Pope! The College of Cardinals hailed a new Pope yesterday at 6:43 p.m. (Vatican time). Cardinal proto-deacon, Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez gave the announcement at the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica few hours after the “fumata Bianca” or the appearance of the white smoke from the chimney of Sistine Chapel.

Cardinal Estevez made the following announcement: Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum; habemus Papam: Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Josephum Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalem Ratzinger qui sibi nomen imposuit Benedictum XVI (I announce to you a great joy: We have a Pope, the Most Eminent and Reverend Joseph, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, Ratzinger who has taken the name of Benedict XVI.)

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany is the 265th Pope, and the first Pontiff of the 21th century. He chose the name Benedict XVI as a symbol of peace.

At 6:48 p.m., Pope Benedict XVI, came out to the exterior “loggia” of the basilica, gave a simple message to the people and then delivered the apostolic blessing “Urbi et orbi” (to the city and the world).

The announcement came out an hour earlier than expected. The people were expecting a ring from the Vatican bells for confirmation. Fifteen minutes after the “fumata Bianca,” the bells sounded like music from heaven, and then the people shouted “habemus Papam!”

After the historic announcement, devotees inside the St. Peter’s Square celebrated with joy. They sang and danced ‘Alleluia’ to the Lord and thanked Him for giving the world a new Pope. There were Germans, Americans, Mexicans, English, Filipinos, and other nationalities who witnessed the event.

Joseph Ratzinger was born on April 16, 1927. He became a priest in the year 1951. At the age of 35, he was named consultant in the Vatican Council II. Pope Paul VI hailed him as Cardinal in 1977. In 1981, Pope John Paul II assigned him as prefect of the Congregation of the Faith.

Former Philippine Ambassador to the Vatican, Tita De Villa is very thankful that Cardinal Ratzinger was the elected Pope because she knows he will take good care of the Catholic Church.

Pope Benedict XVI will be handling a very hard task in dealing issue and the church’s stand on abortion, same sex marriage, homosexuality, population control, and other sensitive concerns affecting the morality of the world.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines promised full support and cooperation to the new Pontiff.

Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales said the Philippine Catholic Church is very happy that a new pillar of Catholicism will rise and stressed that Pope Benedict XVI is worthy of the position.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo joined other world leaders, including United States President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Queen Elizabeth, and Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany, in greeting Pope Benedict XVI.


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