Here are a few facts on the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and his election as Pope:
- Oldest cardinal to be named pope since Clement XII, who was also 78 when he became pope in 1730
- First German pope since Victor II (1055-1057)
- Had been considering retirement a few years ago, but stayed on out of allegiance to Pope John Paul II
- First public words as Pope: "Dear brothers and sisters, after the great Pope John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me — a simple, humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord. The fact that the Lord can work and act even with insufficient means consoles me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers."
- Speaks German, Italian and English
- I've mentioned how much I like John Allen's cover (I believe he now has a book contract to write about Ratzinger); see this page for his continuing coverage