So why did they choose him then...?
Originally Posted by sKorpio1190
As I recall, there were several worthy candidates. The three that were considered most likely were from Colombia, Nigeria, and China, respectively. Each was seen as strategically attractive, since they would expand the Catholic Church's appeal to non-European peoples, and were regarded as relatively liberal in the same vein as John Paul II.

Joseph Ratzinger, OTOH, was regarded as a dark horse, preferred by the traditionalists within the Church that wanted desperately to stem the bleeding (i.e., stop the loss of parishioners) in Western Europe, which was becoming increasingly secular. The reasoning was that people would feel more favorably toward the faith if "one of their own" was the Pope. The same faction also wanted a return to a strict interpretation of Church doctrine, especially on social issues (abortion; homosexuality) and interfaith relations.

And that's how you get Benedict XVI.
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