First came the smoke, then came the confusion. Was it black or was it white? And finally, the bells tolled and the world knew the next pope had been chosen, the first German Pontiff in almost 1,000 years
It turns out the Cardinals went with the favorite, Joseph Ratzinger, who now takes the name "Benedict the Sixteenth."
An astonishingly quiet crowd waited for the first words of the 265th leader of the Roman Catholic Church. The 78-year-old called himself a simple, humble worker from the vineyard of the Lord.
Father Dominic Pham of New Orleans says, "God has chosen him. God has prepared him and we are very happy with him."
The election signals a continuation of the Vatican's conservative ideology. As a Cardinal, Ratzinger was the doctrinal watchdog, a hardliner, but Benedict the 15th was a moderate, and by taking that name, the new holy father of the world's 1.1 billion Catholics may be trying to soften his image.