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Pope Benedict XVI facts for kids

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Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI in 2010
Papacy began 19 April 2005
Papacy ended 28 February 2013
Predecessor John Paul II
Successor Francis
Ordination 29 June 1951
Consecration 28 May 1977
by Josef Stangl
Created Cardinal 27 June 1977
Personal details
Birth name Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger
Born 16 April 1927 (1927-04-16) (age 94)
Marktl, Germany
Nationality German (with Vatican citizenship)
Residence Mater Ecclesiae Monastery
Parents Joseph Ratzinger, Sr. and Maria Ratzinger (née Peintner)
Previous post Archbishop 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)
Motto Cooperatores veritatis (cooperators of the truth)
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Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}
Other Popes named Benedict

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (Latin: Benedictus PP. XVI; German: Benedikt XVI; Italian: Benedetto XVI, born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger on 16 April 1927) is Pope Emeritus of the Catholic Church, having served as Pope from 2005 to 2013. In that position, he was both the leader of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State. Benedict was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave following the death of Pope John Paul II, celebrated his papal inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005, and 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, 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 Pope Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so on his own initiative since Pope Celestine V in 1294. As pope emeritus, Benedict retains the style of His Holiness, and the title of Pope, and will continue 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.


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


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

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


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?" He chose to be called Benedict XVI.

On 11 February 2013, the pope announced that he will 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." The original declaration was made in Latin. He is the first pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415. He decided to resign then retired on February 28, 2013 in order to take care of his health condition.

In a statistical overview derived from writings by and about Joseph Ratzinger, OCLC/WorldCat includes roughly 360+ works in 520+ publications in 20 languages and 3,00+ library holdings.

  • Introduction to Christianity (1968)
  • 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.

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

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