Important events in the life of Pope Benedict XVI

05 Jan 2023

By Contributor

By Carol Glatz

Pope Benedict XVI.
The introduction of the new pope April 19, 2005, St. Peter’s Square. German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, 78, was elected the 265th pope. He chose the name Benedict XVI. Photo: CNS/Nancy Wiechec. (April 19, 2005)

Here are some important events in the life of Pope Benedict XVI.

16 April, 1927: Joseph Ratzinger is born in Marktl am Inn, Germany.

1945: With World War II ending, the 18-year-old conscripted soldier deserts from the German army and is held briefly as a U.S. prisoner of war.

The house where Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, was born on April 16, 1927, is pictured in Marktl am Inn, Germany, in this April 18, 2005, file photo. Photo: CNS /Michaela Rehle, Reuters.

29 June ,1951: He is ordained a priest along with his brother, Georg, and continues his theological studies.

1958-1977: He teaches theology at five German universities.

1962-1965: Father Ratzinger serves as an expert at the Second Vatican Council.

Joseph Ratzinger, second row at right, is pictured with his sister, Maria, brother, Georg, and parents, Maria and Joseph in this July 8, 1951, file photo. Photo:CNS/Catholic Press Photo.

28 May, 1977: He is ordained a bishop, becoming the archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany.

27 June, 1977: Pope Paul VI elevates him into the College of Cardinals.

1981-2005: He serves as prefect of the Holy See’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

19 April, 2005: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, 78, elected pope and takes the name Benedict XVI.

Father Joseph Ratzinger, right, talks with an unidentified prelate in this photo taken in 1962 during the Second Vatican Council. The future Pope Benedict XVI attended all four sessions of the council as a theological adviser to German Cardinal Joseph Frings of Cologne. Photo: CNS/KNA (Oct. 11, 2005)

22 December 2005: In a meeting with top aides at the Vatican, Pope Benedict insists the teaching of the Second Vatican Council must be read in continuity with the church’s tradition.

September 12, 2006: In a speech about faith and reason at the University of Regensburg, Germany, Pope Benedict cites a historical criticism of violence in Islam, setting off consternation and protests.

16 April, 2007: The first of what would be a three-volume work, “Jesus of Nazareth,” by Pope Benedict goes on sale and is an immediate commercial success.

7 July, 2007: Pope Benedict issues an apostolic letter, “Summorum Pontificum,” permitting wider use of the 1962 Roman Missal.

15-20 April, 2008: Pope Benedict visits Washington, New York and the United Nations, meets with victims of clerical sex abuse for first time.

January 2009: With Pope Benedict’s approval, the Vatican issues a letter lifting the ex-communication of four traditionalist bishops belonging to the Society of St. Pius X to clear the way for reconciliation talks with the group.

4 November, 2009: With the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus,” Pope Benedict establishes personal ordinariates for Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church.

15 July 2010: With the approval of Pope Benedict, the Vatican releases streamlined procedures for handling accusations of clerical sexual abuse and removing from the priesthood those found guilty.

1 May, 2011: Pope Benedict beatifies Pope John Paul II.

Pope John Paul II greets then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger at a Munich airport in November 1980 at the end of a papal visit to Germany. After he was elected pope April 19, the cardinal chose the name Pope Benedict XVI. Photo: CNS/KNA (April 19, 2005)

28 February, 2013: Pope Benedict, 85, becomes the first pope in almost 600 years to resign; he cited declining strength because of age.

2013-2022: Lives a “monastic” life of prayer and study, receives visitors in a renovated monastery near the Vatican Gardens. With prompting from Pope Francis, he appears in public for a number of significant church events at the Vatican.

31 December, 2022: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI dies at 9.34 am, at Mater Ecclesiae Monastery at the Vatican.

Pope Bendict XVI. Photo: Sourced.