January 2, 2005, Time quoted unnamed Vatican sources as saying
that Ratzinger was a frontrunner to succeed John Paul II should the Pope
die or become too ill to continue as Pontiff. His see, Cardinal-Bishop
of Ostia, has traditionally been an antechamber to the Papal seat.
Paul Read wrote in The Spectactor on March 5, 2005:
can be little doubt that his courageous promotion of orthodox Catholic
teaching has earned him the respect of his fellow cardinals throughout
the world. He is patently holy, highly intelligent and sees clearly what
is at stake. Indeed, for those who blame the decline of Catholic
practice in the developed world precisely on the propensity of many
European bishops to hide their heads in the sand, a pope who confronts
it may be just what is required. Ratzinger is no longer young — he is
77 years old: but Angelo Roncalli was the same age when he became Pope
as John XXIII. He turned the Church upside-down by calling the Second
Vatican Council and was perhaps the best-loved pontiff of modern times.
As Jeff Israely, the correspondent of Time, was told by a Vatican
insider last month, "The Ratzinger solution is definitely on".
it is important to note that Ratzinger's election to the Papal office
was by no means certain. In conclaves men who are considered papabile
often are not elected to office. At times men considered certain to win
the election did not win. This is expressed in the saying, "He who
enters the conclave as Pope leaves as a Cardinal."
was considered to be Pope John Paul II's "right hand man" and
also one of his closest friends, and during the Pope's final illness, he
carried out many of the Pope's functions as leader of the Catholic
has repeatedly stated he would like to retire to a Bavarian village and
dedicate himself to writing books, but more recently, he told friends he
was ready to "accept any charge God placed on him." After the
death of John Paul II on April 2, 2005 Ratzinger ceased functioning as
Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
speaks ten languages and has received seven honorary doctorate degrees.
He is an accomplished pianist with a preference for Beethoven.
is the eighth German pope.
April, 2005, he was identified as one of the 100 most influential people
in the world by Time Magazine
April 19, 2005 he was elected as the successor to Pope John Paul II
after 2 days of papal conclave. This conclave was shorter than any
conclave of the XXth century.