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Pope Benedict XVI

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His Holiness

Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI in 2010
Papacy began19 April 2005
Papacy ended28 February 2013
PredecessorJohn Paul II
Ordination29 June 1951
by Michael von Faulhaber
Consecration28 May 1977
by Josef Stangl
Created cardinal27 June 1977
by Pope Paul VI
Personal details
Birth nameJoseph Aloisius Ratzinger
Born(1927-04-16)16 April 1927
Marktl, Germany
Died31 December 2022(2022-12-31) (aged 95)
Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, Vatican City
BuriedSt. Peter's Basilica,
Vatican City
NationalityGerman (with Vatican citizenship)
ResidenceMater Ecclesiae Monastery
ParentsJoseph Ratzinger, Sr. and Maria Ratzinger (née Peintner)
Previous postArchbishop of Munich and Freising (1977–1982)
Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria Consolatrice al Tiburtino (1977–1993)
President of the International Theological Commission (1981–2005)
Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1981–2005)
President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission (1981–2005)
Cardinal-Bishop of Velletri-Segni (1993–2005)
Dean of the College of Cardinals (2002–2005)
Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia (2002–2005)
MottoCooperatores veritatis (cooperators of the truth)[1]
SignatureBenedict XVI's signature
Coat of armsBenedict XVI's coat of arms
Other popes named Benedict

Pope Benedict XVI (Latin: Benedictus PP. XVI; German: Benedikt XVI; Italian: Benedetto XVI, born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger; 16 April 1927 – 31 December 2022) was a Pope Emeritus of the Catholic Church. He served as the 265th Pope from 2005 to 2013. In that position, he was both the leader of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Vatican City State. Benedict was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave after the death of Pope John Paul II. He celebrated his papal inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005. He took possession of his cathedral, the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, on 7 May 2005.

On 11 February 2013, Benedict announced his resignation in a speech in Latin before the cardinals. His reason was a "lack of strength of mind and body" because of his old age. His resignation became effective on 28 February 2013. He was the first pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415. He was the first to resign by choice since Pope Celestine V in 1294. As Pope Emeritus, Benedict retains the style of His Holiness, and the title of Pope. He will continue to dress in the papal colour of white. He was succeeded by Pope Francis on 13 March 2013. He moved into the newly renovated Mater Ecclesiae monastery for his retirement on 2 May 2013. In September 2020, Benedict XVI became the longest-lived pope at aged 93.[2]

Priest[change | change source]

Ratzinger was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1951.[3] He was a professor at several German universities, including the University of Bonn[4] and the University of Münster.[5] He also taught at the University of Tübingen.[6] and the University of Regensburg.[7]

Cardinal[change | change source]

In 1977, Ratzinger was named by Pope Paul VI as a Cardinal and the Archbishop of Munich and Freising.[7]

Cardinal Ratzinger was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.[8] He became Dean of the College of Cardinals.[9] He was a close friend of Pope John Paul II.

In January 2022 a report written by a German law firm found that Benedict XVI had failed to act over four cases of child abuse when he was in charge as Archbishop of Munich.[10] He has denied these reports.[10]

Pope[change | change source]

In 2005, Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Pope at the age of 78. At the conclave, "it was, if not Ratzinger, who? And as they came to know him, the question became, why not Ratzinger?"[11] He chose to be called Benedict XVI.[12][13]

On 11 February 2013, the pope announced that he would abdicate or resign on 28 February 2013: "I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry."[14] The original declaration was made in Latin.[15] He is the first pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415.[16] He decided to resign then retired on February 28, 2013 in order to take care of his health condition.

Death[change | change source]

On 28 December 2022, Pope Francis said that Benedict was "very sick".[17] Benedict died on 31 December 2022.[18] His funeral was held on 5 January 2023.

Selected works[change | change source]

In a statistical overview derived from writings by and about Joseph Ratzinger, OCLC/WorldCat includes roughly 360+ works in 520+ publications in 20 languages as well as library holdings.[19]

  • Introduction to Christianity (1968)[20]
  • Einführung in das Christentum: Vorlesungen über das Apostolische Glaubensbekenntnis (1968)
  • Das neue Volk Gottes: Entwürfe zur Ekklesiologie (1969)
  • Der Gott Jesu Christi: Betrachtungen über den Dreieinigen Gott (1976)
  • Eschatologie : Tod und ewiges Leben (1977)
  • Principles of Catholic theology: building stones for a fundamental theology (1985)
  • Politik und Erlösung: zum Verhältnis von Glaube, Rationalität und Irrationalem in der sogenannten Theologie der Befreiung (1986)

As Pope, OCLC/WorldCat identifies 1,400+ works in 2,300+ publications in 33 languages and 55,000+ library holdings.[21]

  • Jesus of Nazareth: from the baptism in the Jordan to the transfiguration (2007)[22]
  • Without roots: the West, relativism, Christianity, Islam (2006)[23]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

The Coat of Arms of Benedict XVI
  1. "Biography of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI". Vatican.va. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  2. "Benedicto XVI es ya el papa más anciano de toda la historia". www.msn.com (in Spanish). DW News. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
  3. Ratzinger, George; Michael Hesseman; Michael J. Miller My Brother, the Pope 2011 Ingatius Press San Francisco page 160
  4. Kung, Hans Disputed Truth: Memoirs II Continuum International Publishing Group New York New York 2007 page 11
  5. Streissguth, Thomas Pope Benedict XVI Lerner Publishing Group Minneapolis Minnesota 2007
  6. Bernstein, Richard et al. "Turbulence on Campus in 60's Hardened Views of Future Pope," New York Times. April 24, 2005; retrieved 2011-10-26.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Seewald, Peter; Brian McNeil Pope Benedict XVI: Servant of the Truth Ignatius Press San Francisco 2006 page 185
  8. Heim, Maximillian Heinrich; Michael J. Miller Joseph Ratzinger: Life in the Church and Living Theology: Fundamentals of Ecclesiology with Reference to Lumen Gentium Ignatius Press San Francisco 2007 page 211
  9. Pope Benedict XVI; Jurgen Habermas Dialectics of Secularization: On Reason and Religion Ignatius Press San Francisco 2006 page 82
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Former Pope Benedict failed to act over abuse, new report finds". BBC News. 2022-01-20. Retrieved 2022-01-20.
  11. Goodstein, Laurie and Elisabetta Povoledo. "Before Smoke Rises at Vatican, It's Romans vs. the Reformers," New York Times. March 11, 2013; Ivereigh, Austen. "Does cardinal confusion spell a long conclave?" Archived 2013-03-16 at the Wayback Machine Our Sunday Visitor. 11 March By Austen Ivereigh; excerpt, "A former communications director to the Archbishop emeritus of Westminster (England), Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, he accompanied the cardinal to Rome in 2005 for the funeral of Pope John Paul II and election of Pope Benedict XVI"; retrieved 2013-3-12.
  12. Collins, Michael The Vatican: Secrets and Treasures of the Holy City DK New York 2011 page 78
  13. Note on ordinal numbering: Popes Benedict XI–XVI are really the 10th–15th popes with that name. This is because Benedict X is now parsed as an antipope; but during the reign of Benedict XI, this was not recognized. The "true" or actual fifteenth pope Benedict identifies himself with the ordinal number XVI. In other words, the numbering of popes after the 10th Benedict needs to be explained -- compare Popes Boniface VIII–IX.
  14. Benedict XVI, "Declaratio" (Declaration) at Vatican.va, 11 February 2012; retrieved 2012-2-11.
  15. "Original declaration in Latin, Holy See".
  16. Messia, Hada (February 11, 2013). "Pope Benedict to resign at the end of the month, Vatican says". CNN. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  17. "Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI 'very sick', says Pope Francis". the Guardian. 28 December 2022. Retrieved 28 December 2022.
  18. "Former Pope Benedict XVI dies at 95". BBC. 31 December 2022. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  19. WorldCat Identities, Ratzinger, Joseph
  20. Pope Benedict XVI Introduction to Christianity Ignatius Press San Francisco 2004
  21. WorldCat Identities, Benedict XVI Pope 1927-
  22. Pope Benedict XVI Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration Volume 1 Doubleday a division of Random House, Inc New York 2007
  23. Pope Benedict XVI Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam Basic Books 2006

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Benedictus XVI at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
John Paul II
Succeeded by