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New pope, new hope? - Aisha I. Jefferson

At last, the cardinals have spoken, we have a pope!

Isn't it something watching history take place?

Especially rituals that are hundreds of years old that we would not have been able to witness firsthand had it not been for modern technology.

For about two days, I sat at my desk, occasionally glancing over at the television, waiting to see if I would witness the smoke coming from the chimney.

Witnessing such an event would be easy, especially since, CNN and Fox News Channel offered us a close up of the chimney in the corner of the screen.

As I watched CNN, I found myself imagining an anchor giving some important announcement, while, to their surprise, smoke would billow out from corner of the screen and they would be cut off.

Sounds silly, I know. But, hey, it could happen.

Unfortunately, the thought was no more than just that, because I was not in front of the television when the white smoke initially began to billow out from atop the Sistine Chapel.

It is something how the Catholic Church has much of the world's attention, and how many people, including non-Catholics, have anticipated the naming of the new leader of the Catholic Church.

Although Chilean Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez announced it in Latin, it quickly became apparent to me that the four years my parents forced me to study Latin as a kid did not help me better understand what he was saying.

Needless to say, I was grateful for an English translation.

So, enters, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now known to the world as Pope Benedict XVI, the fifth pope chosen from Germany and the first German pope chosen in about 1,000 years.

With all of my monitoring, I have to admit, that I originally did not think the cardinals would make a decision as fast as they did. However, I did hear somewhere that the cardinals might not take too long because so many eyes were watching (compliments of CNN and the like).

So what kind of leader do I expect Pope Benedict XVI? What type of papacy do I think this will be?

I am not sure, yet, but I do think he was chosen because of his firm, conservative stances on various issues, including abortion, religious and ordaining women.

From what I gather, there apparently seems to be no straddling the fence with this one.

Aisha I. Jefferson covers police and courts for the Daily Herald. She can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at ajefferson@henryherald.com .