Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was born on the16th of April 1927 in Germany. He was the youngest of three sons. The Pope’s baptismal name was Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger. He attended the elementary school in Aschau am Inn, which was renamed in his honour in 2009. The Pope emeritus’s father was a policeman and his mother.After World War II Benedict the 16th started his theological studies.
In 1959 Ratzinger was a professor at the University of Bonn. He moved to the University of Munster in 1963. Ratzinger participated actively in the Second Vatican Council between 1962 and 1965.
Before being elected as a Pope, Ratzinger was seen as a reformer. He cooperated with theologians such as Edward Schillebeeckx and Hans Kung. Ratzinger was appointed a chair in dogmatic theology at the University of Tubingen in 1966. He was known as a brilliant theologian.
Ratzinger was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising on 24th March 1977. He was named Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria Consolatrice al Tiburtino. on the 25th November 1981 Pope John Paul II named Ratzinger as the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
In 1997, Ratzinger asked Pope John Paul II for permission to leave the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith and to become an archivist in the Vatican Secret Archives and also a librarian in the Vatican Library. However, the Pope did not permit this.
Ratzinger was elected as Pope following the death of Pope John Paul II. He was elected on the19th of April 2005. He was elected on the second day of the conclave after four ballots. He chose the pontifical name Benedict which means “the blessed”, in honor of both Pope Benedict XV and Saint Benedict of Nursia. He then served as the Pope from April 2005 to February 2013 when he resigned from office.