Vatican Information Service issued the following statement this evening:
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected as Supreme Pontiff, the 264th successor of Peter, and has chosen the name Benedict XVI. The cardinal proto-deacon made the solemn announcement to the people at 6.43pm. from the external loggia of the Hall of Blessings of the Vatican Basilica following the white smoke which occurred at 5.50pm
Following are the words of Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez:
Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum; habemus Papam; Eminentissium ac Reverendissium Dominum, Dominum Josephum Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalem Ratzinger Qui sibi nomen imposuit Benedictum XVI
(I announce to you with great joy; We have a Pope; The most eminent and most reverend Lord Lord Joseph Cardinal of Holy Roman Church Ratzinger Who has taken the name Benedict XVI)
The conclave that led to the election of Benedict XVI began on Monday, April 18, 2005 in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, with the "extra omnes" pronounced at 5:25 p.m. by Archbishop Piero Marini, master of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, following the taking of the oath by the 115 cardinal electors. The first black smoke took place at 8:04 p.m. the same day. On Tuesday, April 19, there was black smoke at 11:52 a.m.. On Tuesday, April 19, there was white smoke at 5:50 p.m.
At 6.48pm, the Holy Father Benedict XVI, preceded by the Cross, appeared on the external loggia to greet the people and to impart the Apostolic Blessing "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and to the world). Prior to the blessing, the new Pontiff addressed the faithful with the following words:
"Dear Brothers and Sisters,
"After the great Pope John Paul II, the Lord Cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord. I am consoled by the fact that the Lord knows how to act, even with inadequate instruments and above all I entrust myself to your prayers. In the joy of the Risen Lord, trusting in His permanent help, as we go forward the Lord will help us, and His Mother, Mary Most Holy, is on our side Thank you."