E-mail the Pope!
Seriously, as a Christian (Protestant, but still Christian), it breaks my heart to know that Cardinal Ratzinger was chosen as Pope. He was the one guy that I was most hoping would not be picked. It would have been symbolically very important to choose a Pope from Latin America or Africa, where most of the world's Catholics actually live, rather than Germany, a place where the Church is shrinking.
Worse, Benedict XVI promises to restore the centrality of "doctrine" to the Church. That means preventing gay marriage, birth control, and women as priests. According to Pope Benedict, not only are these tasks valid works of the Church, they are the central mission of the Church. In other words, not only will Benedict XVI carry on John Paul II's legacy of crazy conservativism, Benedict will make crazy conservativism the main project of the Catholic Church.
In case you haven't seen it, here was Benedict's "Urbi et Orbi" (City and World), the traditional first message of the Pope:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
After the great Pope John Paul II, the Cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble labourer in the vineyard of the Lord.
The fact that the Lord knows how to work and to act even with inadequate instruments comforts me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers.
Let us move forward in the joy of the Risen Lord, confident of his unfailing help. The Lord will help us and Mary, his Most Holy Mother, will be on our side. Thank you.
Have you ever noticed that people who practice the theology of exclusion are always talking about how "humble" they are? But, they always know who God really likes. And it's always them.
Who are the biggest winners and losers from this decision?
1) Protestants: Benedict XVI will continue the Church's unpopular social policy, without the charisma of John Paul II. In North America and Western Europe, the exodus from the Catholic Church will only speed up. If these people want to stay Christians, they will likely go to Protestant denominations. Personally, I don't care what church people attend, as long as they do what the Bible says.
2) The Human Immunodeficiency Virus can continue to spread unchecked through the condomless Catholic world
1) The World's poor and oppressed were one of John Paul II's priorities - caring for them, bringing hope to them, and freeing them from oppressive governments. Benedict XVI apparently thinks that they're not as important as preventing gays from marrying.