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Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's election as the new Pope was one of the shortest in 100 years.

Ratzinger, 78, the first German Pope in nearly 500 years, contrasts with his predecessor Pope John Paul II who became pontiff when he was just 58.

When his election in four ballots over two days concluded, it was also one of the most predictable selections of a Pope in Vatican history.

Those who ardently hoped that a South American, African or an Asian would become the 265th pontiff have been disappointed.

Those church leaders who thought the cardinals would pick up a liberal and reformist Pope have been proved wrong.

Traditionalist theologians and church leaders are excited because Pope Benedict XVI has been the Church's most outspoken leader, someone who wants to strictly enforce conservative policies on the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics.

What prompted the 115-member conclave of cardinals zero in on Ratzinger, the oldest Pope since Clement XII in 1730? presents you Pope Benedict XVI!

Text: George Iype | Photograph: Patrick Hertzog/AFP/Getty Images

Also read: Men who could be Pope

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