German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is now Pope Benedict XVI.
Many stories characterize Cardinal Ratzinger as being essentially Pope John Paul II's right hand man. So do not look for any changes in church doctrine.
I found this prediction from TKS a bit like predicting liberals will oppose a given judicial nominee by President Bush. Nevertheless, it makes a good point.
So – how soon after the new Pope is chosen, does some thumb-sucking columnist point to one of the guys who wasn't chosen and lament that the Church has missed a golden opportunity to reach out to constituency X? “In selecting Pope Whoever over Cardinal Arinze, the Cardinals blew a chance to reach out to the African continent.” “By skipping over Cardinal Hummes, Church leaders fumbled a chance to solidify their influence over Latin America.” And if it’s not geography, it will be ideology – “by picking this traditionalist, the Church has ignored its waning influence among Europeans seeking a more progressive voice,” etc.
I haven't had the chance to look yet, but I am sure it has already happened. All of the news shows tonight will be blanketed with stories of the "almost Popes" and how much of any impact they could have made, how great they would have been, how super every thing would be if they would just allow the New York Times editorial staff to chose the Pope.
I pray that Pope Benedict XVI will lead the Catholic church with grace and guidance from the Holy Spirit.
Update: It has already begun.
Update 2: At least they aren't confusing the new pope with Cliff from Cheers like some other news outlets are.