Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd

Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, waves from a balcony at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican after being elected by the conclave of cardinals in Vatican City on April 19. (Getty Images/Mario Tama)

Pope Benedict XVI

Full coverage of the selection of Cardinal Ratzinger as the successor to Pope John Paul II.

May 20, 2005

Cardinal says new policy led to Loyola boycott

When several Catholic bishops argued last year that they had a responsibility to deny Holy Communion to politicians who support abortion rights, Baltimore's Cardinal William H. Keeler was not among them. He instead offered that taking the sacrament was a personal matter, saying, "We don't need bishops to get into the act."

May 15, 2005

Sainthood for Pope John Paul II: the fast track or the slow road?

In his more than 26 years as pope, John Paul II made saints out of 484 men and women, more than all his predecessors combined. Along the way, he created 1,338 blesseds - individuals who were deemed responsible for at least one miracle.

May 14, 2005

Pope picks American to oversee doctrine

Pope Benedict XVI selected yesterday a San Francisco bishop with a reputation as a conservative theologian to take over his former job - one of the most powerful in the Catholic hierarchy and instrumental in shaping the direction of the church.

May 8, 2005

Pontiff takes his seat as bishop of Rome

ROME - Pope Benedict XVI completed the formal takeover of papal power yesterday by assuming his important role as bishop of Rome, ascending to the marble throne of one of Christianity's oldest churches.

May 2, 2005

Conclave's prayerfulness, wonder evoked in homily

Although only Roman Catholic cardinals participated in the secret conclave that elected the new pope, Cardinal William H. Keeler said he felt the prayers of multitudes.

April 26, 2005

Greeting pilgrims, Pope Benedict XVI shows a lighter side

VATICAN CITY - He kissed babies, blessed people in wheelchairs and joked that he felt like a guillotine was falling on him when he realized that he might be elected pope.

April 25, 2005

'Pray for me,' pope asks the faithful

VATICAN CITY - Sunshine glinting off his golden vestments, Pope Benedict XVI summoned centuries of Catholic tradition yesterday, then asked hundreds of thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square to join him as he sets out on a new papacy.

April 25, 2005

Mass appeal in Tridentine tradition

Kim Keller wanted her nine children to experience as many different Masses as possible and took them to services in English and in Spanish at churches throughout the Baltimore region. "We thought it was important they experience different cultures," she said.

April 22, 2005

Pope gives freewheeling Munich excuse to celebrate

MUNICH, Germany - Here where Joseph Ratzinger once presided as archbishop and later cardinal, people say his elevation to Pope Benedict XVI is a cause for celebration.

April 21, 2005

Pope to focus work on youth, more reforms

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI outlined an agenda yesterday that he described as being based on the legacy of his predecessor, saying he wanted to strengthen and unify Christianity throughout the world even as he seeks dialogue with leaders of other religions.

April 21, 2005

Pope, U.S. cardinal discuss abuse scandal

With his papacy just minutes old and the faithful in St. Peter's Square still unaware of his selection, Pope Benedict XVI greeted Chicago Cardinal Francis George in English and told him he was focused on the issue that has engrossed the church's American leadership for three years - sexual abuse by priests.

April 21, 2005

Surge of pride meets diminishing relevance

TRAUNSTEIN, Germany - Here in the foothills of the Bavarian alps, Pope Benedict XVI was born, began to train for the priesthood, deserted the Nazi army and began his university teaching career. This is where, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he returned every year to walk, rest and reflect.

April 21, 2005

Pope plans first news conference

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI, following the example of his predecessors, will hold a news conference Saturday morning, his first since being named the 265th leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

April 21, 2005

Pope predicted 'short reign' in remarks just after election

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI predicted a "short reign" in comments to cardinals just after his election, and his brother said yesterday that he was worried about the stress the job would put on the 78-year-old pontiff.

April 21, 2005

The pope's books are selling out

NEW YORK - Demand for books by the new pope, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, has quickly surpassed supply, with many of his works selling out.

April 20, 2005

Ratzinger to lead church

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a German theologian known as a strict traditionalist, was elected pope yesterday, taking the name Benedict XVI and describing himself to a cheering crowd in St. Peter's Square as "a simple, humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord."

April 20, 2005


Former professor led Vatican office that enforces doctrine of faith

As soon as his name was read from a balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, Joseph Ratzinger was being considered a transitional pope because of his age - at 78, the oldest pontiff elected to lead the Roman Catholic Church in nearly three centuries.

April 20, 2005

American Catholics

Faithful in U.S. unlikely to see altered message from the Vatican

He was Pope John Paul II's right-hand man, a sort of vice president to the pontiff who led the church for a quarter-century.

April 20, 2005


Now is time to stop eulogizing, start asking hard questions

With the election of a new pope yesterday, the networks once again interrupted regular programming to join the all-news cable channels for continuous live coverage from the Vatican. Instantly, tens of millions of screens in homes and offices around the world were filled with iconic images of the Vatican and pictures from St. Peter's Square of crowds cheering, clapping and waving flags in celebration of the news.

April 20, 2005

Global Reaction

Leaders around the world welcome pope

LONDON - From Notre Dame in Paris to the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, cathedral bells tolled and prayers were offered yesterday to celebrate the election of Pope Benedict XVI.

April 20, 2005

In The Community

A wide range of reactions to new pope

When the Rev. Denis J. Sweeney heard the news, he tore down the halls of St. Mary's Catholic school in Annapolis, high-fiving students and encouraging them to shout, "Three cheers for the new pope."

April 20, 2005

In The Pews

Local congregations are pleased with choice

The bells rang for 45 minutes at St. Alphonsus Church after the election of a new pope yesterday. A deacon had interrupted the midday mass to whisper into the ear of a priest that a successor to Pope John Paul II had been selected - a prominent conservative cardinal.

April 20, 2005

The Name

Clues for papacy's future may be found in past Benedicts

It was 1914, and the world was at war, the last time a pope took the name Benedict.

April 20, 2005

Pope quotes

In his own words

April 18, 2005

Cardinals to break with some traditions at conclave today

VATICAN CITY -- History towers over the 115 Roman Catholic cardinals who will gather today to begin selecting a new pope, but some of the church's ancient traditions are shifting beneath their feet.

April 17, 2005

Ancient, secretive task awaits at conclave

VATICAN CITY - Tomorrow, 115 cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church will sequester themselves in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel for the beginning of the faith's most private and perhaps most important ritual, the election of a new pope.

April 17, 2005

Papal speculation keeps oddsmakers busy

CASTELNUOVO DI PORTO, Italy - A book of numbers at his side, a pendulum in his pocket and his wife upstairs plotting astrological charts, Fabrizio Shamir predicts that the next pope will come from South America.

April 17, 2005

By Gady A. Epstein

Sun Journal: China poses a problem for next pope

BEIJING - Catholics who want to attend Mass in China's capital can visit the government-sanctioned South Cathedral without fear of harassment.

April 16, 2005

Oaths by staff ensure conclave's secrecy

VATICAN CITY - They sat quietly on hard wooden pews, nuns in simple habits, clergymen in red-sashed cassocks, chauffeurs in sober suits, all waiting their turn to solemnly swear to keep the secrets of the papal conclave.

April 15, 2005

How will Internet bear on the papal conclave?

The cardinals won't be toting laptops when they assemble Monday in the Sistine Chapel to pick a new pope, but the information highway constructed since the last papal conclave in 1978 could steer them in new ways.

April 12, 2005

With papal conclave pending, tourists, media look for news

VATICAN CITY - The man from Minnesota stood off to the side of St. Peter's Square and scrolled through the pictures on his digital camera with pride. He'd captured the dome of the basilica, the papal apartments, maybe the chimney of the Sistine Chapel - all the gems that a Vatican-watching tourist requires.

April 11, 2005

Cardinals keep silence on next pontiff

VATICAN CITY -- Pilgrims gazed forlornly at the third-floor window where Pope John Paul II traditionally appeared Sundays, and cardinals held to their vow of public silence ahead of next week's secret vote on a successor.

April 10, 2005

Vatican moves to quiet speculation on next pope, John Paul's canonization

VATICAN CITY - After a papal funeral that spread images of Catholicism throughout the world, Vatican officials imposed an information blackout yesterday to allow the cardinals who will choose a new pope to enter "an intense period of silence and prayer."

April 6, 2005

U.S. cardinals see many hurdles for next pope

VATICAN CITY - The next pope will need to address an accelerating loss of religious faith in the West, a growing gap between the rich and poor and the lack of trust between Roman Catholics and Muslims, three American cardinals said yesterday.

April 5, 2005

The Church

U.S. cardinal sees next pope staying course

VATICAN CITY - One of the most senior U.S. members of the Vatican hierarchy said yesterday that American Catholics would be best served by a new pope as committed to strict interpretation of doctrine as was Pope John Paul II, even if that approach alienated many of the country's 67 million faithful.

April 4, 2005

The challenges that lie ahead

The next pope will inherit a church facing serious challenges, such as the polarization between liberals and conservatives, competition with evangelical Protestants, the secularization of Western Europe and the clergy's steadily declining ranks.

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