Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI was born Joseph Alois Ratzinger on 16 April 1927. He is the 265th and reigning Pope, the head of the Catholic Church, and as such, Sovereign of the Vatican City State. He was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave, celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005, and took possession of his cathedral, the Basilica of St. John Lateran, on 7 May 2005. Pope Benedict XVI has both German and Vatican citizenship. He succeeded Pope John Paul II, who died on 2 April 2005 (and with whom he had worked before the interregnum).

One of the best-known Catholic theologians since the 1950s and a prolific author, Benedict XVI is viewed as a defender of traditional Catholic doctrine and values. He served as a professor at various German universities and was a theological consultant at the Second Vatican Council before becoming Archbishop of Munich and Freising and Cardinal. At the time of his election as Pope, Benedict had been Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (curial heads lose their positions upon the death of a pope) and was Dean of the College of Cardinals.

 

 

 

 

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