Pope Benedict XVI

Head of the Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013 / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Pope Benedict XVI (Latin: Benedictus PP. XVI; Italian: Benedetto XVI; German: Benedikt XVI; born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger; 16 April 1927 – 31 December 2022) was the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 19 April 2005 until his resignation on 28 February 2013. Benedict's election as pope occurred in the 2005 papal conclave that followed the death of Pope John Paul II. Benedict chose to be known as "Pope emeritus" upon his resignation, and he retained this title until his death in December 2022.[9][10]

Quick facts: Pope Benedict XVI, Church, Papacy began, Papa...

Benedict XVI
Bishop of Rome
Benedict XVI in 2010
ChurchCatholic Church
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 Paul VI
Personal details
Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger

(1927-04-16)16 April 1927
Died31 December 2022(2022-12-31) (aged 95)
Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, Vatican City
NationalityGerman (with Vatican citizenship)
Previous post(s)
MottoCooperatores veritatis
(Latin for 'Cooperators of the truth')
SignatureBenedict XVI's signature
Coat of armsBenedict XVI's coat of arms

Philosophy career
Notable work
EraContemporary philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
Main interests
Notable ideas
Ordination history
Diaconal ordination
Ordained byJohannes Neuhäusler [de]
Date29 October 1950
PlaceFreising Cathedral, Freising
Priestly ordination
Ordained byMichael von Faulhaber
Date29 June 1951
PlaceFreising Cathedral, Freising
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecratorJosef Stangl
Date28 May 1977
PlaceFrauenkirche, Munich
Elevated byPope Paul VI
Date27 June 1977
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI as principal consecrator
Alberto Bovone12 May 1984
Zygmunt Zimowski25 May 2002
Josef Clemens6 January 2004
Bruno Forte8 September 2004
Mieczysław Mokrzycki29 September 2007
Francesco Giovanni Brugnaro29 September 2007
Gianfranco Ravasi29 September 2007
Tommaso Caputo29 September 2007
Sergio Pagano29 September 2007
Vincenzo Di Mauro29 September 2007
Gabriele Giordano Caccia12 September 2009
Franco Coppola12 September 2009
Pietro Parolin12 September 2009
Raffaello Martinelli12 September 2009
Giorgio Corbellini12 September 2009
Savio Hon5 February 2011
Marcello Bartolucci5 February 2011
Celso Morga Iruzubieta5 February 2011
Antonio Guido Filipazzi5 February 2011
Edgar Peña Parra5 February 2011
Charles John Brown6 January 2012
Marek Solczyński6 January 2012
Angelo Vincenzo Zani6 January 2013
Fortunatus Nwachukwu6 January 2013
Georg Gänswein6 January 2013
Nicolas Thévenin6 January 2013
Other popes named Benedict
Quick facts: Papal styles of Pope Benedict XVI, Reference ...
Papal styles of
Pope Benedict XVI
Reference styleHis Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father

Ordained as a priest in 1951 in his native Bavaria, Ratzinger embarked on an academic career and established himself as a highly regarded theologian by the late 1950s. He was appointed a full professor in 1958 at the age of 31. After a long career as a professor of theology at several German universities, he was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising and created a cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1977, an unusual promotion for someone with little pastoral experience. In 1981, he was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, one of the most important dicasteries of the Roman Curia. From 2002 until he was elected pope, he was also Dean of the College of Cardinals. Before becoming pope, he was "a major figure on the Vatican stage for a quarter of a century"; he had an influence "second to none when it came to setting church priorities and directions" as one of John Paul II's closest confidants.[11]

Benedict's writings were prolific and generally defended traditional Catholic doctrine, values, and liturgy.[12] He was originally a liberal theologian but adopted conservative views after 1968.[13] During his papacy, Benedict advocated a return to fundamental Christian values to counter the increased secularisation of many Western countries. He viewed relativism's denial of objective truth, and the denial of moral truths in particular, as the central problem of the 21st century. Benedict also revived several traditions, including the Tridentine Mass.[14] He strengthened the relationship between the Catholic Church and art, promoted the use of Latin,[15] and reintroduced traditional papal vestments, for which reason he was called "the pope of aesthetics".[16] He was described as "the main intellectual force in the Church" since the mid-1980s.[17]

On 11 February 2013, Benedict announced his resignation, citing a "lack of strength of mind and body" due to his advanced age. His resignation was the first by a pope since Gregory XII in 1415, and the first on a pope's initiative since Celestine V in 1294. He was succeeded by Francis on 13 March 2013 and moved into the newly renovated Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in Vatican City for his retirement. In addition to his native German language, Benedict had some level of proficiency in French, Italian, English, and Spanish. He also knew Portuguese, Latin, Biblical Hebrew, and Biblical Greek.[18][19][20] He was a member of several social science academies, such as the French Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques. He played the piano and had a preference for Mozart and Bach.[21]

Benedict's handling of sexual abuse cases within the Catholic Church and opposition to usage of condoms in areas of high HIV transmission led to substantial criticism from public health officials, anti-AIDS activists, and victim's rights organizations.[22][23]