The new pope will be Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany. He'll be Pope Benedict XVI.
Back in November, the Washington Post ran a profile of him. An excerpt:
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's strict line on Catholic dogma has earned the chief Vatican guardian of orthodoxy a host of nicknames: the Enforcer, the Fundamentalist and Panzerkardinal, a German neologism that compares the Bavarian-born prelate to a battle tank.
As head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Ratzinger has made several waves over the past year. Top among them was a letter he sent in August to Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington advising clergy that they must deny Communion to supporters of abortion rights who, he said, persist in cooperating in what he termed a "grave sin." The note also provided advice on how Catholic voters should proceed when faced with a choice that included a candidate who supported abortion rights. No names were mentioned, but several American bishops had spoken out against Sen. John F. Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate, for his views on abortion.
At the height of the scandal of priestly pedophilia in the United States, he blamed the uproar on a media conspiracy. "I am personally convinced," he told an interviewer, "that the constant presence in the press of the sins of Catholic priests, especially in the U.S., is a planned campaign."
Pope John Paul II was simultaneously known for his commitment on these social issues and "the culture of life" as well as a dedication to peace, coming out against the Iraq War, for instance. Does this new pope signal a stronger focus on cultural issues?