Happy 5th Anniversary Holy Father!

On this day in 2005, the 265th Successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome, was elected and took the name of Benedict.

May God grant Pope Benedict health and length of days!



Where were you when you heard the news?

I was working with Fox News in Rome at the time and had the honor of being involved in the live broadcast of the event.
Here is a shot of what I was doing. (Many thanks to the person who sent me the video tape I took this photo from… not a great photo, but… there it is.)

Chris Wallace, Greg Burke, Fr. Zuhlsdorf

PODCAzT 20: Leo the Great and Benedict – Habemus Papam!

“Oremus Pro Pontifice” stuff and store

V. Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Benedicto.

R. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat
eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.
[Ps 40:3]

Pater Noster…,  Ave Maria….

Deus, omnium fidelium pastor et rector, famulum tuum
Benedictum, quem pastorem Ecclesiae tuae praeesse voluisti,
propitius respice: da ei, quaesumus, verbo et exemplo,
quibus praeest, proficere: ut ad vitam, una cum grege sibi
credito, perveniat sempiternam. Per Christum, Dominum
nostrum. Amen.

V. Let us pray for Benedict, our Pope.

R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make
him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the
will of his enemies. [Ps 40:3]

Our Father,  Hail Mary.

O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look
mercifully upon Thy servant Benedict, whom Thou hast chosen
as shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant him, we
beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify
those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the
flock committed to him, may he attain everlasting life.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. kat says:

    I kept the news on because of the Conclave. When I heard there was a valid election and the smoke was seen, I ran down to the basement to turn on the tv and was so excited when they came out and said “Habemus Papam!” Once I learned who it was I started making phone calls to my mom and others. My children were at recess and our priest came over the loudspeaker to tell everyone the good news!

    Incidentally I will remember when John Paul II died…it was the day my 5th child was baptized.

  2. revs96 says:

    I was interestingly enough in my German class when the professor came in at the beginning of class and said “We have a German Pope”

  3. I was at Catholic institution and a television was set up in the atrium when the announcement came that white smoke was seen. To the atrium I went and I stood there with colleagues and others. At the moment of the announcement, “Ratzinger,” two of us punched our fists in the air and yelled “yes!” The rest of the place was silent, gasping with open mouths as the realization that their work of straw was going to come to an end.

    I will never forget it.

  4. Will D. says:

    I vividly remember the beginning of the news coverage (on NBC) when people were dithering over whether the smoke was black or white. The camera showed the smokestack emitting tenuous wisps of grey smoke for a few minutes before they cut to a view of the bells beginning to swing, then back to the chimney which was putting out white smoke in earnest.

    It was my first time watching it unfold, as Popes John Paul I and John Paul II were elected when I was three.

  5. jbalza007 says:

    I was at work, watching the live telecast via EWTN Web Stream. All along, I had a gut feeling it would be Cardinal Ratzinger. What a blessed day indeed!

  6. tonio5555 says:

    I was in my parochial high school in history class. Our teacher immediately turned the TV on so we could watch the annoucement live. At the time I had no idea of who Cardinal Ratzinger was so I couldn’t appreciate what great news it was, but it was still amazing to witness my first “Habemus Papam” as I was born long after JPII was elected.

  7. Fr. Andrew says:

    I was in seminary in Denver and had just been dismissed from Canon Law. As I walked by the lounge, word was getting out that there was white smoke so we gathered around the T.V. One younger seminarian began ringing the bell with great gusto to announce to the whole seminary and chancery that the announcement was coming. As soon as the Cardinal said “Josephum” I turned to my friends and said “Ratzinger!” Christus Vincit!

    By the way, does anyone know the story of the Cardinal who made the announcment? Was nervous because the of occasion? The crowd? The Latin? He looked uncomfortable- and remains so each time I see him.

  8. RichardT says:

    Five years! Not many people would have predicted then that he would still be going strong after five years.

  9. milano_rossonero says:

    I was a sophomore at my Catholic (in name only) high school. My Italian language professor, a devout man and friend of Fr. Joseph Fessio SJ, had his computer screen turned to the class with a live stream of the Sistine chimney as he continued his normal lecture. I focused more on the computer than on the lesson, and thank God I did so. The weather in Rome as I recall was not too pleasant, and so upon seeing the first wisps of smoke I mistook it for fog or low clouds. But the smoke persisted, and I happily interrupted the lecture by nonchalantly telling the teacher, “professo’, c’e’ fumo”. He didn’t understand, and asked, “Chi fuma?” Ego illi dixi, “No, c’e’ fumo dalla sistina”. Class stopped, and we were glued to the screen till we had to switch classes.

    I then moved to my Religious Studies class and by then each classroom followed the coverage on TV. We were all affixed with anticipation till Card. Medina Estevez emerged upon the balcony of St. Peter’s. I clearly remember that moment– my teacher, none too orthodox, said words that pierced my heart: “If it’s Ratzinger, I’m going to cry.” I followed the papal coverage of those days very astutely, and I knew that smoke at this hour meant that he had been elected on the 4th or 5th ballot; it was a quick conclave, and my teacher would almost certainly be disappointed. I said to her, “You might want to get some kleenex”.

    The Cardinal Protodeacon continued the announcement, “…Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum, Domimum…”, and the pause here to me seemed an aching eternity which gave way to unbridled joy and praise. “Josephum…” Upon hearing the first name, I leapt out of my seat and screamed, “YES!!!” and looked at my teacher with the biggest smile on my face. “Who is it?” she asked, obviously having no comprehension of Latin. I said with impatient exuberence, “Keep watching!” The Cardinal continued: “…Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalem… RATZINGER.” At that moment I crossed myself and in my mind I could not help but remember the words of Shakespeare’s Henry V: “Do we all holy rites/ Let there be sung Non Nobis and Te Deum”

  10. TNCath says:

    I was teaching senior English when one of our teachers came to my classroom saying that they were about to announce the new Pope. So, we stopped whatever we were doing (yes, in public school), turned on the TV, and watched the announcement. While it was truly one of the most poignant moments of my life, partly because here was a group of high school seniors, with less than a month to go before they graduated and most of them non-Catholic, truly interested in being a part of this historical and deeply spiritual moment.

    In the words of one of the verses of that old hymn “Long Live the Pope”:

    Then raise the chant,
    With heart and voice,
    In Church & school & home:
    “Long live the Shepherd of the Flock!
    Long live the Pope of Rome!”
    Almighty Father, bless his work,
    Protect him in his ways,
    Receive his prayer, fulfill his hopes,
    And grant him length of days!
    Receive his prayer, fulfill his hopes,
    And grant him length of days!

  11. catholicmidwest says:

    Fr Z,
    You look very, very happy in that picture. I was too. I remember very clearly where I was: at my computer at work and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I danced in the office, and maybe it ruined my reputation a little bit but I don’t care. His election still makes me happy when I think of it.

  12. stpetric says:

    I was conducting an all-day conference at a hotel meeting room. Throughout the morning I was keeping an eye on online news sources for updates on the conclave. The pope was elected just before lunchtime in the eastern US, so I passed the news on to the conference participants when I broke us for lunch. There was a gratifyingly audible gasp at the news!

  13. Margaret says:

    I was driving around on some errand, listening to the radio. As soon as I heard “Josephum,” I had to pull over because I started crying in happiness. The poor kids thought Mom had lost her marbles… :)

  14. wanda says:

    I was home watching probably on mainstream media. It was a thrilling moment, but sadly, I remember that the name calling from the same media began almost immediately, rottweiler, etc.

    Happy 5th Anniversary, Your Holiness!

  15. Marcin says:

    I was at work, glued to the EWTN online feed. I was so happy after announcement.

    Chronia polla!

  16. Geoffrey says:

    At the time I was working at a veterinary hospital. I kept checking the news online all morning, and was stunned to see the headline “white smoke!” I was very nervous… I decided to watch the announcement live online… regardless if I was at work or not… this was historic. The last time this happened I wasn’t even born yet!

    A non-religious co-worker stood along side me watching. I listened to the ancient Latin formula, and when I heard “Iosephum” I didn’t think of Cardinal Ratzinger, because I had no idea if there were any other Joseph’s in the Sacred College. When I heard the name “Ratzinger”, I immediately slapped my knee… I could not believe my prayers had been answered. My knee-slap completely threw my co-worker, and she said asked what happened, what they said, etc.

    On my lunch break I went to daily Mass, where the priest used the Votive Mass for the Pope. Needless to say, I was on a spiritual “high” all day.

    Deo gratias! Laudetur Iesus Christus! Viva il Papa!

  17. Magpie says:

    I was in my bedroom at university watching the live BBC coverage.

  18. I was at the gym watching it on the TV attached to one of the workout machines. I cheered aloud, which earned me a few curious looks. It was a warm day, and I remember toasting our new Pope that evening over a round of malted German beverages with Mrs. Leonardi.

  19. Jayna says:

    I was sitting on the couch watching CNN. I think I was pretty much glued to the TV from the moment I found out that JPII died. JPII was elected six years before I was born, so this was the first papal election I’ve ever been witness to.

    Interestingly, at the time I had not yet returned to the Church, but was still absolutely unable to pull myself away from the coverage of it. I think I even skipped class to watch it.

  20. JohnMa says:

    I was in AP Chemistry at my public high school. We had the TV on the whole class while performing some type of experiment. As soon as the white smoke came out of the chimney we all finished up quickly and hopped on some desks to watch the announcement. The class was about 1/2 Catholic and 1/2 non-Catholic but all were interested and asking me questions about who it might be. They then wanted to know as much as possible about Papa Ratzinger.

  21. I was in a construction trailer doing process control programming at the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Fairfield, California. I was listening to EWTN on the radio when I heard the news.

  22. TJerome says:

    I was in my office with the internet on when the glorious news was announced. I was absolutely elated. And Pope Benedict has exceeded my expectations. Proof of how effective he has been as Pope are the renewed vicious, left-wing loon media attacks assisted by Catholic liberal collaborators who see their “spirit of Vatican II world” crumbling.

  23. In my family room on my knees watching EWTN praying that Cardinal Ratzinger would be the one to receive the Keys. What a gift he has been!

  24. Theodorus says:

    I went to library where I worked, and my colleagues told me that Card. Ratzinger was elected. I was absolutely thrilled, because I had always longed for his election, and actually 10 years before his election, I had told my friends that I wished Ratzinger be elected and take the name Benedict.

  25. ghlad says:

    I was working in the lab, checking for updates. As soon as news hit of the Holy Spirit’s decision, I ran to a TV. The only people in the department that seemed to care enough to watch it had a TV plugged into a conference room, so it was me sitting with a bunch of old department secretaries (the nicest people in the department, it must be said) and as soon as it was announced that my favorite Cardinal had been chosen, I bolted out and called my friends.

    Everybody thought it was funny when his name was announced because I had purchased a “Ratzinger Fan Club” tshirt, which I often wore during the Conclave.

    So it was a mixture of excitement and, well, fear, because his announced name, Benedict, does somewhat fit into the Fr. Malachy… thing…

  26. One more thing; our oldest son, now twelve, is named Benedict. When the Holy Father’s election was announced over the PA system at our parish school, the principal said it was an “especially meaningful day for one student.” Our son, being the only Benedict in the student body, blushed.

  27. Sandra_in_Severn says:

    At the moment – I was on Travis AFB going to the Comstore for groceries. I was sitting in my car crying from joy when it was announced it was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger,

  28. jucundushomo says:

    I was working in a hospital at the time, precisely in their food service department. We were assembling hot lunches for the inpatients when my phone began to buzz with news of “Habemus Papam!” I’d been anxious all day as to when a new Holy Father would be elected, and so the news came with a rush of emotion and andrenaline.

    As quickly as I could I made my way to the nearest television, all the while wondering – praying – who the new Holy Father might be. As the announcement was made I began to cheer and weep for joy at the same moment. People were clustered around and as soon as the Holy Father began to offer the Urbi et Orbi blessing we all fell to our knees right there and made the sign of the cross.

    It was an absolutely wonderful moment. I had just been received into the Church three years previous. I had never experienced a conclave before (being only 23 years old in 2005). And to witness the election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, whose works I had read and admired for some time, was overwhelming. I was running on adrenaline and had a constant smile for the rest of the day.

  29. Servant of the Liturgy says:

    Freshman year religion: Sacraments and Liturgical Year etc. Only one of the religion rooms had a TV hooked up to cable so all four classes crammed in to one room to watch on a tiny 1980’s era television. The bell rang to switch classes but noone moved; the buzz continued. Sr. Hedwig prayed fervently in a corner. Finally, we heard the announcement and as soon as I heard the Cardinal utter “Josephum”, I knew who our new Pope was. Following the announcement “Benedicti Decimisexti”, I remember a particular nun running down the hallway in pure jubilation…she was Sister Benedicta.

  30. I came out of a morning class and found out that the white smoke had been seen. I couldn’t watch, however, as we had Mass in a few minutes. I noticed during Mass that the attendance was quite low, and figured many seminarians were in the rec hall below the chapel. Sure enough, a loud cheer was heard below the chapel during the Gospel reading. While the celebrant was giving his homily, one of the then-Deacons came up and told a faculty member. After the homily, the celebrant was told, and the rest of us found out during the Eucharistic Prayer, when he prayed “for Benedict 16, our pope (Cardinal Ratzinger)”. I know it’s highly illicit to change the Eucharistic Prayer like that, but I think this one case was justified.

  31. Mike says:

    I was in junior year of High School. The CNN coverage was on in one of the study halls. I recall no perceived special significance of the selection of Cardinal Ratzinger at the time, though I did at least have the sense of an important historical event occurring.

    How my perspective has changed in the years since!

  32. Lori Pieper says:

    What a difference 26 years makes! I still have incredibly vivid memories of the elections of John Paul I and John Paul II — I was 22 then and a senior in college. At that time there was no cable TV, no CNN, no 24-hour news, not even any VCRs really. I was in my college dorm and was only able to see the news on our antenna TV with not very good reception. . . no way to preserve the moment – but what excitement!

    On April 19, 2005, I set my VCR before I left for work to tape CNN for a couple of hours around the appropriate time if the white smoke came. Sure enough, around noontime at work, we heard the announcement on the radio. I knew relatively little about Cardinal Ratzinger at the time, and hadn’t read any of his books. I only knew of his reputation in the press, which, needless to say, wasn’t good, though I largely discounted it. Nevertheless, I said to my boss, “he’s supposed to be very stern.” “Good,” he said, “That’s what the Church needs right now.” (And he’s not even really Catholic any more).

    Then, when my boss wasn’t around, I watched the “instant replay” of Pope Benedict’s first blessing on CNN on my computer! Not to mention having the whole thing at home to watch. And thank heavens for YouTube — now I can re-watch John Paul I and John Paul II’s elections whenever I want.

    And now that we’ve had him as Pope for five years, and I have read his writings, I think “stern” is probably the last thing I would call Joseph Ratzinger. Holy, wise and good are much more accurate.

    Viva il papa! Ad multos annos!

  33. Mariana says:

    And going from strength to strength!

  34. J Kusske says:

    I was working in the packing room at Leaflet Missal that morning, and we listened expectantly over the intercom to a radio news service as I recall. When the wonderful news was out, we were all ecstatic! The whole day people throughout the store were rejoicing. I was also able to set the mind of an Episopalian professor friend of mine at rest not long after, as she’d heard the usual horror stories about the “Panzer Cardinal” and whatnot, by telling her about Pope Benedict’s Bavarian background and humble nature. He’s truly been a gentle shepherd, a very far cry from the media caricature of “God’s Rottweiler”. Ad multos annos, amen!

  35. Guillaume says:

    I was there, on Saint Peter Square, with my friends of the French Seminary of Rome. On of the greatest day of my life.

  36. Ellen says:

    I was at work. I got up and did a little happy dance next to the desk. Then I said, “I hope he takes the name Benedict” and when he did, I encored the happy dance. I work in a secular university, and lots of the faculty think he’s evil and a Nazi. Sigh. I hope the dear sweet man lives to be 100+

  37. New Sister says:

    Just one year after my Confirmation, I had no idea who Cardinal Ratzinger was. I was living in Paris & had gone out to dinner with a group from my parish & our spiritual director, Père Lataste, who, by being so thrilled by Benedict XVI’s election, assured us that we had been blessed with a tremendous gift in our new Holy Father – Deo gratias!

  38. chironomo says:

    I had just begun a new position at San Marco Church in Marco Island, Florida. The Benedict papacy has turned out far better than that position did… I left a little over a year later for my current position!

    BTW… if there have been 265 Popes total, wouldn’t Benedict be the 264 SUCCESSOR to Peter?

  39. Art says:

    I was at work. I, like most of my co-workers, only knew Cardinal Ratzinger from the MSM coverage. My knowledge of my faith was only threadbare and limited to what was taught in highschool. However, seeing the almost immediate villification by the press, it made me question MSM’s de facto infallibility and made me want to find out more and more about our new pope and the church.

  40. Richeldis says:

    I was teaching English on the other side of Rome. I was so disappointed that I couldn’t go to San Pietro, but a friend sent me a text message about the news. I announced it to my class, and one of my students, a Polish nun, burst into tears of joy. I was still an Anglican then, but I knew that it was very good news!

  41. MrsHall says:

    Five years ago I was Protestant but leaning dangerously ;) toward Catholicism. We went to a fundamentalist Baptist church and I had to keep things to myself but oh, I was praying for Joseph Ratzinger to be the next Pope! Is that crazy? I had read some things that he had written and recognized a man that loved and knew Christ. Everything on the news here in the US prior to his election was “Ratzinger is too conservative, he’ll never get in,” which is how the media operates—say it long enough and loud enough and you can make it true. I remember one Vatican official being interviewed that said something to the effect of, “This isn’t a popularity contest. The Holy Spirit will guide our votes.” My husband was grinning and said, “Yeah, baby!” and I thought to myself that we were the weirdest Protestants on planet Earth. I was so happy when the announcement came about Pope Benedict. So now we’re very happily Catholic and thankful for such a good shepherd in the Holy Father. He has made it easy for me to completely throw my lot in with the OHCA Church without reservation.

  42. Agnes of Prague says:

    I was in math class in senior year of Catholic high school. All the rooms had little TVs already and they were on in case of news. I was only 17 and didn’t know much. But I had read the little blurbs in the papers about different papabili and remember thinking “Oh, I’d hoped it would be him!”

    Yesterday, the 19, when beginning my Rosary, I remembered what a hard time the Holy Father has been having lately and decided to offer 15 decades that day for him. I didn’t even realize it was his anniversary! A little gift from Our Lady to him, I guess.

  43. I was home sick with the TV on but asleep. :) In fact, that was just about the time the fever broke. I remember a certain amount of the immediate aftermath on TV, and a lot more of the virtual party around St. Blog’s, especially over at Amy Welborn’s. But I look at my own postings from them and barely remember them.

    Never have I been so sick and so happy at the same time.

  44. kelleyb says:

    I was at the Hospital waiting for my appointment when the White Smoke was seen. I returned to the waiting room as Pope Benedict XVI came out on the balcony. I remember they called him God’s Rottweiler. I smiled because I believe the Church needs a strong person with a gentle heart at the helm. Most rottweilers I know are tough but real pussy cats under all the gruff.

  45. irishgirl says:

    I heard the announcement on my day off from the Catholic bookstore where I worked. For some odd reason, I didn’t go to to Mass at the parish several miles from my hometown. I was on my way to the bank to get some money, when the announcement came over the classical radio station in my car that the white smoke was seen from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel and the bells were rung in confirmation. I raised a fist from the steering wheel and yelled, ‘HABEMUS PAPAM! HABEMUS PAPAM!’-luckily my windows were closed, or else people would have thought I was nuts!

    When I got to the bank, I stood glued to the spot where the TV in the lobby was-CNN was the channel. The sound was turned down, but my heart was racing in my chest as I wondered who the new Holy Father would be-my bet was on Cardinal Arinze. I heard Cardinal Estevez giving the traditional announcement, but it wasn’t till I saw Cardinal Ratzinger-now the new Pope-come out onto the loggia, and graphics on the screen changing to say, ‘Benedict XVI’ that I found out who it was! I said half out-loud, ‘It’s Ratzinger!’ in a joyful tone. But there were people in the bank-other customers-who turned away in disgust, believing the media’s label of ‘God’s Rottweiler’. I said-again to myself-‘Well, too bad for you!’ in response to their reaction. Then after I transacted my business, I went out to my car, called the neighbor who organized the TLM I went to at the time, and we shared our joy over the new Holy Father! I will never forget that day!

    It’s hard to believe he has been our Papa for five years! How I would have loved to have seen my mother’s reaction to it, being she was born in Germany! But she died a year and a day too early to see it!

    kelleyb-I just read your last line! I love it!

  46. sea the stars says:

    I’ve got to be the blondest person here, cos when I heard the name “Josephum…Ratzinger” I thought “why is Cardinal Ratzinger getting mentioned? Had he something to do with the election process?”

  47. irishgirl says:

    Love reading all the other posts!

    And Fr. Z-you look really cool in that Fox News picture! [almost wrote CNN-oops]

    And of course-Happy 5th Anniversary, Holy Father Benedict! Ad Multos Annos!

    [happy dance, happy dance :) ]

  48. Daniel Latinus says:

    In the morning, I made a point of getting up very early to see how the first ballot went. Non habemus papam. I got ready for work.

    I had been at that account for about a year. I still didn’t know anyone very well. At my old account, we would have been discussing the late Pontiff, and the imminent election. Here the only person I knew had any interest was this fellow who was active in the KofC, and we didn’t talk much.

    I planned my day to get near a computer around the time of the second ballot.

    It was about noon when I got to a computer, and the headlines blared “IT’S RATZINGER”. I was happy, but there really was no one to share it with. The KofC fellow walked by just then, and I told him the news. He had already heard, and he seemed pleased but he continued on his way. I later told the fellow I actually worked with, and his reaction was, “oh, really?” He was completely uninterested.

    I had not believed that Cardinal Ratzinger would have been elected. The way I saw it, the Cardinals were probably looking to elect another Italian, or possibly a third world cardinal. Cardinal Ratzinger was too closely identified with an orthodox viewpoint, and had made enemies as head of the CDF. I was also very apprehensive about John Paul II’s rule allowing election by a simple majority in the event the conclave went on too long. (I’m from Chicago; when you vote, you make sure you look at all the angles.)

    What I did not know about the conclave was that almost all of the Cardinal electors had been appointed by JPII, and that few knew each other very well. But the one man everybody knew was Cardinal Ratzinger. They knew him from ad limina meetings, and just about every elector had met with Cardinal Ratzinger, and had talked to him at some length. Moreover, until the homily at JPII’s funeral, I had little idea how personable the Cardinal was. I was gratified to be wrong about Cardinal Ratzinger’s electability.

    I don’t remember if it was that night, or the following weekend, when I finally caught a rebroadcast of EWTN’s coverage of the actual election. Raymond Arroyo said in a hushed tone, “it’s Ratzinger.” And I felt just as excited as if I had watched it as it was happening.

    Pope Benedict XVI: ad multos annos!

  49. asperges says:

    I doubt whether any Pope in living memory (other than perhaps Pius XII) has been under such sustained attack as this man.

    Much of it comes internally from the liberal wing of the Church, alas, who would do anything to get him unseated. They will not succeed. They are a far greater threat than atheists and secularists.

    The Holy Ghost chose him, and with His help, he will continue as a great Pope who achieved much in his reign.

    “God bless our Pope, the Great, the Good!” Cardinal Wiseman’s Hymn http://vodpod.com/watch/3078956-full-in-the-panting-heart-of-rome-fantastic-traditional-catholic-hymn

  50. Dr. Eric says:

    Ad Multos Annos!

    Viva Il Papa!

    I was at home and just happened to turn on the local CBS station and they flashed over to St. Peter’s Basilica and I waited with baited breath. Then I heard the words of the Cardinal announcing the next Pope “Habemus Papam… Josephum…”

    At that moment I knew Our Lord was true to His words that He would never leave us as orphans.

  51. Justin from Ohio says:

    It was a very memorable day indeed.

    Fr. Z, have you ever been contacted again by any major mainstream news outlets (or by EWTN) to do TV work as a commentator/expert?

    I sure hope we get to see you again as your knowledge and insights are much needed (otherwise, they’ll continue to bring on far more dissident Catholics – including priests and religious – to make authoritative statements about the Church).

  52. AnAmericanMother says:

    I was working in my office at the time, with a window open on my computer keeping an eye on EWTN.

    Of course the feed slowed to a crawl when the white smoke started, so I turned on my little AM radio to listen. I had stuck my head out of my office and announced that they had white smoke, and everybody gathered around. My boss came in just as the cardinal began his announcement.

    When he got to ” . . . Iosephum . . . ” I said in a tense, hopeful undertone, “It’s Ratzinger.” When that was confirmed a moment later, I jumped out of my chair and cheered. So what if they all think I’m nuts?

  53. marthawrites says:

    My husband and I were outside working on the lawn when I came in to pour a cold drink for each of us. The phone rang: it was our youngest daughter, away at college, who had just received an instant message from a former boyfriend–not a Catholic: “The smoke is white!” So I turned on the tv, called my husband in, and we sat watching until the announcement was made. Meanwhile, our middle daughter was living in Rome studying for her Masters in Theology, so she was sending us lots of detailed news and photos from the time of JP II’s death until all the ceremonies were over. She was in St. Peter’s Square when Cardinal Ratzinger appeared on the balcony. What joy we felt, here in PA and there in Rome.

  54. Rachel Pineda says:

    I was a newly baptised and confirmed Catholic just weeks before all of this happened. Good Friday that year was on the feast of the Annunciation, which was particularly special to all of the catechumens. I remember all with the attention and fervor of a new Catholic.

    On the occasion of our late holy father’s death the news came out to interview local catholics who were arriving at their local parishes to pray for him. Most of THAT coverage was kind to his memory.

    Then everything changed with the anticipation of a new pope. One person inparticular from RCIA was hoping that then Cardinal Ratzinger would not be elected giving the excuse that he is strict and will definately not allow women to be priests and homosexuals to marry etc…I was ecstatic when they announced Joseph Ratzinger. I had been watching the coverage all morning giving my husband updates who was at work. I cried with joy and crossed myself at the moment of the white smoke and especially more at the moment of the announcement that it was Cardinal Ratzinger.
    I called my husband who already knew because all of the restaurant employees where he managed the store had been watching a small potable t.v. brought from home to watch the coverage.
    Our cathedral put a large banner outside that read “Habemus Papam!”It was such a happy and beautiful day.
    Long Live Pope Benedict XVI!!!

  55. pattif says:

    It was Tuesday, so our parish catechism classes were in session. I was running a group for the parents of the children preparing for First Holy Communion. My phone vibrated, and, because the conclave was the only thing on my mind, I excused myself to check. It was a text message from a friend: ‘Habemus papam’. I texted back: ‘Who?’ The reply: ‘Ratzinger’.

    I had been a devoted fan of his writings for years, but, God forgive me, I never even bothered to pray for his election, because I thought he didn’t stand a chance (I had simply absorbed the black propaganda that they all hated him).

    I announced the news to my group, then went round the various classes to tell them. By the time I got to the second group, I was blubbing. I really think it was not so much joy at who had been elected (that was real enough, believe me), but relief that we were no longer orphans.

  56. Tom A. says:

    Five years ago today, I was heard the great news in a hotel room in Washington D.C. Today I am again in that same hotel in Wash. D.C. A nice coincidence.

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