Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, born Joseph Alois Ratzinger, died December 31, 2022 on the age of 95, the Vatican mentioned in a press release on that day.
In his later years, Ratzinger was conscious of his declining well being and was unafraid in confronting demise. Just earlier than his 91st birthday, he wrote in a public letter, which appeared within the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, “I can only say that at the end of a slow decline in physical strength, inwardly I am on pilgrimage home. It is a great gift for me to be surrounded, on this last stretch of this sometimes tiring road, by a degree of love and goodwill that I could never have imagined.”
From 2005 to 2013, Ratzinger served because the 265th pope of the Roman Catholic Church. His choice to step down got here as a shock: His selection made him the primary pope since Gregory XII in 1415 to resign. He was identified for his strict doctrinal beliefs on subjects corresponding to contraception and homosexuality, together with being a rigorous educational and believer in interfaith connections.
Born on April 16, 1927, within the German village of Marktl am Inn, Ratzinger lived a life that was exceptional by any measure. In 1939, as an adolescent, he entered seminary, however was compelled to hitch Hitler Youth and later served within the Germany army. After his desertion in April 1945, he was captured and held by the Americans as a prisoner of conflict.
Following the conflict, Ratzinger went again to seminary and was ordained in 1951, later incomes his doctorate in theology on the University of Munich in 1953. He steadily gained a status as a critical theologian and wrote quite a few scholarly works on faith; over the course of his life, he wrote 66 books. He additionally contributed to the founding of Communio, an vital journal of Catholic thought.
In March 1977, he was appointed archbishop of Munich and Freising, after which turned cardinal shortly thereafter. Pope John Paul II selected Ratzinger to be his chief doctrinal officer and prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican. In 2005, Ratzinger presided on the funeral of Pope John Paul II; the 2 had identified one another for the reason that 1970s.
During the seek for the following pope, Ratzinger was thought of a favourite, and his choice was introduced on April 19, 2005. At age 78, he was the oldest pope elected since 1730, when Clement XII was put in.
During Ratzinger’s tenure, he was compelled to confront the church’s function in turning a blind eye to sexual misconduct in parishes. He actively promoted interfaith dialogue and upheld conservative positions on fashionable life.
In February 2013, he introduced his choice to resign as a consequence of age and well being points. Later that month, he formally turned pope emeritus. Since May of 2013, he had resided throughout the Vatican on the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery.
Through the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation, the pope emeritus’s dedication to educational life is honored with prizes in his identify. In 2017, the muse launched its “Expanding Reason Awards” to advertise dialogue on scholarly topics of curiosity to Ratzinger: sciences, philosophy and theology.
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