Cardinal Joseph Ratziner was chosen by his cardinal peers to be the new Pope. Ratzinger, who will now be known as Pope Benedict XVI, is the first German pope in a thousand years. His selection reflects the desire of the church to shore up Europe as a Catholic stronghold, making many worried he will "scare away" other people. While many New Yorkers cheered in Times Square when white smoke appeared and the new pope was announce, some were hoping for a New World pontiff, to show the Vatican was willing to make radical changes, versus Ratzinger, a conservative Catholic who thinks other religions are "deficient." But given that his nicknames are "Enforcer" and "Watchdog," Gothamist thinks his appointment means TV networks will probably develop shows around the Vatican really soon - "Imagine, an Equalizer for the Christian right!"

The NY Times section on Pope Benedict XVI, including how the New World lost out and the problems anchors had with deciphering smoke. Wikipedia on Pope Benedict XIV and XV. And as Pope Benedict is from Bavaria, Gothamist recommends some Bavarian cream pie and Bavarian beer.