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2005: Ratzinger is elected as new Pope
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has been elected as the Pope - the head of the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics.

Taking the name Pope Benedict XVI, the 78-year-old German appeared on the balcony of St Peter's Basilica.

His arrival was greeted by loud cheers from the many thousands of pilgrims who had packed St Peter's Square as news of his election spread across Rome.

He was chosen on the third round of votes by the 115 cardinals meeting to select Pope John Paul II's successor.

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Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI waves from the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica

The new Pope greets his followers

In Context
Pope Benedict XVI is the eighth German pontiff and was the clear favourite to fill the role.

He was one of Pope John Paul II's closest friends and, like his predecessor, firmly opposes to birth control, supports the celibacy of the priesthood, and is against the ordination of women.

He has also spoken out against homosexuality and once denounced rock music as "the vehicle of anti-religion".

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