Vatican City, Apr 25, 2005 / 22:00 pm
Yesterday morning, a visibly joyful Pope Benedict XVI met with thousands of his German countrymen telling them that although he is now the Bishop of Rome, he would always be “a Bavarian” at heart.
The Holy Father was joined in the Paul VI Hall by his brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, along with a throng of German seminarians, priests, religious, and lay faithful shouting, "Viva il Papa! Long Live the Pope."
The new Pope asked the group to forgive him for being late, noting that while punctuality was a hallmark of Germans, he had lived in Italy for 23 years and had perhaps "become Italianized." Nevertheless, he highlighted in his speech his own origins and the ties that have linked Bavaria and Rome over the centuries.
Speaking of the conclave that elected him as the 264th Successor to Peter, Pope Benedict said that, "Without violating the oath of secrecy, I never thought I would be elected, nor did I do anything to promote this."