VATICAN CITY, April 19 (UPI) -- German conservative Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was named Tuesday the 265th pope of the Roman Catholic church after just two days of balloting.
The 78-year-old chose the name Benedict XVI, and appeared before hundreds of thousands of pilgrims in white robes just 50 minutes after white smoke from the Sistine Chapel and the tolling of bells from St. Peter's Basilica announced his selection around 5 p.m. local time.
The conclave of 115 cardinals from 52 countries took just four ballots before giving Ratzinger at least a two-thirds majority vote.
In his first papal address, the white-haired pontiff described himself as a "humble and simple worker in the Lord's vineyard" before acknowledging his predecessor, John Paul II. He then issued the traditional "Urbi et Orbi" global blessing as band struck up and pilgrims waved flags.
Polish-born Pope John Paul II died April 2 at the age of 84 after almost 27 years as pontiff.