Pope Benedict XVI

Pope

Benedict XVI
Bishop of Rome
Roma-UdienzaPapa01.jpg
Benedict XVI in 2008
Papacy began19 April 2005
Papacy ended28 February 2013
PredecessorJohn Paul II
SuccessorFrancis
Orders
Ordination29 June 1951
by Michael von Faulhaber
Consecration28 May 1977
by Josef Stangl
Created cardinal27 June 1977
by Paul VI
Personal details
Birth nameJoseph Aloisius Ratzinger
Born (1927-04-16) 16 April 1927 (age 92)
Marktl, Germany
NationalityGerman
ResidenceMater Ecclesiae Monastery, Vatican City
ParentsJoseph Ratzinger Sr. and Maria Ratzinger (née Peintner)
Previous post
MottoCooperatores veritatis (cooperators of the truth)[3]
SignatureBenedict XVI's signature
Coat of armsBenedict XVI's coat of arms
Other popes named Benedict
Papal styles of
Pope Benedict XVI
Coat of Arms of Benedictus XVI.svg
Reference styleHis Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious stylePope Emeritus[4][5]
Joseph Ratzinger
Joseph Ratzinger.jpg
Then-Cardinal Ratzinger in 2001
Born
Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger
Notable work
Jesus of Nazareth
Introduction to Christianity
Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life
Deus caritas est
EraContemporary philosophy
RegionRoman Catholicism
SchoolAugustinism
Thomism
Main interests
theology, philosophy, piano and music
Notable ideas
Agape
Dehellenization
Charity
Perpetual virginity of Mary
Faith-based hope
Love of Christ

Pope Benedict XVI (Latin: Benedictus XVI; Italian: Benedetto XVI; German: Benedikt XVI; born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger; German pronunciation: [ˈjoːzɛf ˈalɔʏzi̯ʊs ˈʁatsɪŋɐ]; 16 April 1927) is a retired prelate of the Catholic Church who served as head of the Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2005 until his resignation in 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 by the title "pope emeritus" upon his resignation.[4][5]

Ordained as a priest in 1951 in his native Bavaria, Ratzinger had established himself as a highly regarded university theologian by the late 1950s and was appointed a full professor in 1958. After a long career as an academic and professor of theology at several German universities, he was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising and 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 his election as pope, he was also Dean of the College of Cardinals. Prior to 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.[9] He has lived in Rome since 1981.

His prolific writings[10] generally defend traditional Catholic doctrine and values. He was originally a liberal theologian, but adopted conservative views after 1968.[11] During his papacy, Benedict XVI advocated a return to fundamental Christian values to counter the increased secularisation of many Western countries. He views relativism's denial of objective truth, and the denial of moral truths in particular, as the central problem of the 21st century. He taught the importance of both the Catholic Church and an understanding of God's redemptive love.[12] Pope Benedict also revived a number of traditions, including elevating the Tridentine Mass to a more prominent position.[13] He strengthened the relationship between the Catholic Church and art, promoted the use of Latin,[14] and reintroduced traditional papal garments, for which reason he was called "the pope of aesthetics".[15] He has been described as "the main intellectual force in the Church" since the mid-1980s.[16]

On 11 February 2013, Benedict unexpectedly announced his resignation in a speech in Latin before the cardinals, citing a "lack of strength of mind and body" due to his advanced age. His resignation became effective on 28 February 2013. He is the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so on his own initiative since Celestine V in 1294. As pope emeritus, Benedict retains the style of His Holiness, and the title of pope, and continues to dress in the papal colour of white. He was succeeded by Pope Francis on 13 March 2013, and he moved into the newly renovated Mater Ecclesiae Monastery for his retirement on 2 May 2013. In his retirement, Benedict XVI has made occasional public appearances alongside Francis.

Early life: 1927–1951

The birth house of Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger in Marktl, Bavaria

Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger was born on 16 April, Holy Saturday, 1927, at Schulstraße 11, at 8:30 in the morning in his parents' home in Marktl, Bavaria, Germany. He was baptised the same day. He is the third and youngest child of Joseph Ratzinger Sr., a police officer, and Maria Ratzinger (née Peintner); his grand-uncle was the German priest-politician Georg Ratzinger. His mother's family was originally from South Tyrol (now in Italy).[17] Pope Benedict's elder brother, Georg Ratzinger, is a Catholic priest and is the former director of the Regensburger Domspatzen choir. His sister, Maria Ratzinger, who never married, managed Cardinal Ratzinger's household until her death in 1991.

At the age of five, Ratzinger was in a group of children who welcomed the visiting Cardinal Archbishop of Munich, Michael von Faulhaber, with flowers. Struck by the cardinal's distinctive garb, he announced later that day that he wanted to be a cardinal. He attended the elementary school in Aschau am Inn, which was renamed in his honour in 2009.[18]

Ratzinger's family, especially his father, bitterly resented the Nazis, and his father's opposition to Nazism resulted in demotions and harassment of the family.[19] Following his 14th birthday in 1941, Ratzinger was conscripted into the Hitler Youth—as membership was required by law for all 14-year-old German boys after March 1939[20]—but was an unenthusiastic member who refused to attend meetings, according to his brother.[21] In 1941, one of Ratzinger's cousins, a 14-year-old boy with Down syndrome, was taken away by the Nazi regime and murdered during the Action T4 campaign of Nazi eugenics.[22] In 1943, while still in seminary, he was drafted into the German anti-aircraft corps as Luftwaffenhelfer.[21] Ratzinger then trained in the German infantry.[23] As the Allied front drew closer to his post in 1945, he deserted back to his family's home in Traunstein after his unit had ceased to exist, just as American troops established a headquarters in the Ratzinger household.[24] As a German soldier, he was interned in a prisoner of war camp, but released a few months later at the end of the war in May 1945.[24]

Ratzinger and his brother Georg entered Saint Michael Seminary in Traunstein in November 1945, later studying at the Ducal Georgianum (Herzogliches Georgianum) of the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich. They were both ordained in Freising on 29 June 1951 by Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber of Munich. Ratzinger recalled: "at the moment the elderly Archbishop laid his hands on me, a little bird – perhaps a lark – flew up from the altar in the high cathedral and trilled a little joyful song."[25]

Ratzinger's 1953 dissertation was on St. Augustine and was titled The People and the House of God in Augustine's Doctrine of the Church. His habilitation (which qualified him for a professorship) was on Bonaventure. It was completed in 1957 and he became a professor of Freising College in 1958.

Encounter with Romano Guardini

In his early twenties, he was deeply influenced by the thought of Italian German Romano Guardini[26] who taught in Munich 1946 to 1951 when Ratzinger was studying in Freising and later at the University of Munich. The intellectual affinity between these two thinkers, who would later become decisive figures for the twentieth-century Church, was preoccupied with rediscovering the essential in Christianity. Guardini with his 1938 tome "The Essence of Christianity," while Ratzinger penned "Introduction to Christianity," three decades later in 1968. Guardini inspired many in the Catholic social-democratic tradition, particularly the Communion and Liberation movement in the New Evangelization encouraged under the papacy of Polish Pope John Paul II. At the close of the twentieth the future Cardinal Ratzinger would write an introduction to a 1996 reissue of Guardini's 1954 classic "The Lord".[27]

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Benedikt XVI.
aragonés: Benedet XVI
armãneashti: Papa Benedictu XVI
arpetan: Benêt XVI
asturianu: Papa Benitu XVI
Aymar aru: Binidiktu XVI
azərbaycanca: XVI Benedikt
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Бэнэдыкт XVI
Bikol Central: Papa Benedicto XVI
български: Бенедикт XVI
Boarisch: Benedikt XVI.
brezhoneg: Benead XVI
català: Benet XVI
Cebuano: Benedicto XVI
čeština: Benedikt XVI.
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Papa Benedicto XVI
Cymraeg: Pab Bened XVI
Deutsch: Benedikt XVI.
Diné bizaad: Pope Benedict XVI
dolnoserbski: Benedikt XVI.
español: Benedicto XVI
estremeñu: Beneditu XVI
føroyskt: Benadikt XVI
français: Benoît XVI
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Kau-fòng Benedictus 16-sṳ
հայերեն: Բենեդիկտոս XVI
hornjoserbsce: Benedikt XVI.
hrvatski: Benedikt XVI.
Bahasa Indonesia: Paus Benediktus XVI
interlingua: Papa Benedicto XVI
Interlingue: Benedict XVI
íslenska: Benedikt 16.
Kapampangan: Papa Benedict XVI
ქართული: ბენედიქტე XVI
kaszëbsczi: Benedikt XVI
Kreyòl ayisyen: Benwa XVI
latviešu: Benedikts XVI
Lëtzebuergesch: Benoît XVI. (Poopst)
lietuvių: Benediktas XVI
Limburgs: Benedictus XVI
lingála: Pápa Benwa XVI
Lingua Franca Nova: Benedito 16
lumbaart: Benedet XVI
македонски: Папа Бенедикт XVI
Malagasy: Benoa XVI
Bahasa Melayu: Paus Benedictus XVI
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Gáu-huòng Benedictus 16-sié
монгол: XVI Бенедикт
Nāhuatl: Benedictus XVI
Dorerin Naoero: Benedictus XVI
Nedersaksies: Paus Benedictus XVI
Napulitano: Papa Benedetto XVI
norsk nynorsk: Pave Benedikt XVI
Nouormand: Benedictus XVI
occitan: Beneset XVI
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Benedikt XVI
ភាសាខ្មែរ: បេណេឌីកទី១៦
Picard: Bénoét XVI
Tok Pisin: Benedict XVI
Plattdüütsch: Benedikt XVI.
polski: Benedykt XVI
português: Papa Bento XVI
Ripoarisch: Benedikt XVI.
Runa Simi: Binidiktu XVI
русский: Бенедикт XVI
sicilianu: Binidittu XVI
Simple English: Pope Benedict XVI
slovenčina: Benedikt XVI.
slovenščina: Papež Benedikt XVI.
ślůnski: Benedykt XVI
српски / srpski: Папа Бенедикт XVI
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Benedikt XVI
татарча/tatarça: Бенедикт XVI
Türkçe: XVI. Benedictus
українська: Бенедикт XVI
žemaitėška: Benedikts XVI