-- bear most -- them. How helpful. He is Joseph cardinal Ratzinger of Germany to be known henceforth as Benedict the sixteenth chosen quickly and only the fourth ballad of a convoy of far shorter than... See More
-- bear most -- them. How helpful. He is Joseph cardinal Ratzinger of Germany to be known henceforth as Benedict the sixteenth chosen quickly and only the fourth ballad of a convoy of far shorter than many expect. What played out today is tradition hundreds of years old the election and the announcement of a new Pope are meant to convey Granger and so they did. In many ways cardinal Ratzinger has been the ultimate Vatican insider he is 78 years old has served for many years as a close ally and advisor to Pope John Paul. Tonight we look at the man and what he stands for and we start with -- ABC's Bob Woodruff at the Vatican Bob. Well Charlie as you know we have been watching this square in the Sistine Chapel behind me very closely since yesterday afternoon waiting for this very moment. And when it finally came today there was a great deal of excitement but also some confusion. It was a highly anticipated moment the most watched chimney in the world. The when the smoke emerged just before 6 PM no one seemed to know what it meant. Not very -- and certainly not black -- soon began the white. People poured in to Saint Peter's Square excited but unsure. Until the bells. It. Eventually the crowd grew to a 100000. The Roman roads to the Vatican jammed with people as they drove and rode in ran towards saint Peter's. Pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. Father Francis stone arrived from Alabama five hours before the -- you have here in Saint Peter's Square. The whole world the whole world comes together at saint Peter's witnesses. This is history just feels awesome to be news. Then that the window of saint Peter's basilica the senior -- -- The words everyone here was waiting for -- -- most -- I'm. We have a -- Moments later Joseph Ratzinger who entered the conclave of cardinals emerged as -- Benedict the sixteenth. -- -- -- -- -- On -- it's the cardinals have elected me a simple humble worker in the lord's vineyard he said seeming quite nervous. I Entrust myself to your prayers. At 78 he is the oldest -- to accede to the throne of saint Peter in 275. Years. He was born in Bavaria southern Germany in 1927. The son of a policeman. He became a member of the Hitler youth although that was compulsory at that time. During World War II he deserted the German army was later held in a US POW -- he doesn't -- Sheen. My brother is gifted with a high intellect his brother says he wasn't very practical but he is very open to all intellectual and spiritual areas. Within the church she moved up quickly become one of Pope John Paul's closest advisors. Since the pope's death his position as dean of the college of cardinals made him the most visible of the likely successors celebrating masses leading the conclave. His performance at the pope's funeral was a turning point. -- -- and then -- was. Third compassionate side. Cardinals' rushing through which we had not seen before so clearly. -- -- humanity coming through a compassion warmth perhaps. And I think that made -- certain impression on those who is there at the funeral on those who watched on television around the world. And he impressed his fellow cardinals enough to win their votes. In one of the shortest conclave is in history. The -- -- -- with his fellow cardinals this evening to -- he'll be sleeping in the same residence they shared with them all during this conclave. And tomorrow morning he will preside over a mass in the Sistine Chapel. And then finally on Sunday he will be in fall -- installed formally. As the --
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.