From 2005 to 2013, Pope Benedict XVI presided over the church. Since Gregory XII in 1415, he is the first pope to have resigned from office. Pope Benedict upheld Christian principles and encouraged the use of Latin during his pontificate. He also became well-known for having relatively traditional views on homosexuality and Catholicism. He holds firm opinions regarding contemporary sins, citing the desire for power and the rejection of moral reality as the key drivers of issues in the twenty-first century. He was the first Pope to participate in Twitter conversations and show up for in-depth radio and television appearances. Before becoming a Cardinal, he was an academic and theology professor who was well regarded as being exceptionally intelligent. For his contributions to literature and theology, he has won numerous awards. Pope Benedict XVI, who is frequently referred to as “The Pope of aesthetics,” also brought back the traditional papal garb that John Paul II had banned. Since stepping down as pope, Benedict XVI has been known as Pope Emeritus.
Early Childhood & Life
On Holy Saturday, April 16, 1927, Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger was born, and that same evening, he was baptized. His parents, police officer Joseph Ratzinger Sr. and Maria Ratzinger, welcomed him into the world at their Schulstraße house in Bavaria, Germany.
Of his three siblings, he is the youngest. While Maria Ratzinger, his sister, passed away in 1991, his older brother Georg Ratzinger is a priest.
When he was younger, he went to elementary school in Aschau am Inn. He was among the young ones who greeted the Munich Cardinal Archbishop when he was five years old. He declared that he was inspired to become a cardinal.
He also participated in World War II for a short time. Ratzinger joined the Hitler Youth in 1941 because it was required by law for all German youths under the age of 14 to do so. He received his training in the German infantry and spent time in a POW facility. He disliked the Nazis much like his father and was not really enthused about it.
Pope Benedict’s Career
He and his brother enrolled in Saint Michael Seminary in Traunstein in November 1945 because he was interested in pursuing a career as a priest. Later, he traveled to Munich to attend the Ludwig-Maximilian University.
He and his brother received priestly ordination from Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber in 1951.
In 1957, he received his teaching credential. He was hired as a fundamental theology professor at Freising College in 1958 and the University of Bonn in 1959.
He focused on theology from 1960 to 1966, relocating to the University of Münster and working as a theological advisor throughout that time. During these years, he was also appointed to the University of Tübingen. Despite the liberal notions that were prevalent in religious circles at the time, his beliefs remained unexpectedly conservative.
Ratzinger served as the University of Regensburg’s vice president from 1976 to 1977. He was named the Archbishop of Munich and Freising in 1977. Pope John Paul II appointed Benedict XVI as the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1981, and he left that position in 1982.
In 1993, he was elevated in the College of Cardinals to the position of Cardinal Bishop of Velletri-Segni, and in 2002, he was named the College’s dean.
Pope John Paul II forbade Benedict XIV in 1997 from resigning from the Congregation in order to work as an archivist in the Vatican Secret Archives.
In 2005, at the age of 78, Benedict XIV was chosen to succeed Pope John Paul II as the 265th pope. Since Pope Clement XII, he is the pope who has been elected at the oldest age.
Pope’s Bigger Works
He has a lengthy history of being regarded as a significant person in the Vatican. He exhorted Christians to participate in charity activities while he was the Pope. In multiple talks, Benedict XVI discussed Islam while upholding the prior Vatican stance on topics like abortion, homosexuality, and contraception. When he referred to Christianity as “the only religion with reason,” he drew a lot of criticism. His relationships with Islam and Judaism have been very tense.
Additionally, Pope Benedict XVI frequently spoke out against sexual abuse. In 2001, he came out against the clergy sexual abuse that had occurred in the Catholic church and tried to hold those responsible accountable. He also established a special panel to look into these allegations. He visited the women who had been sexually assaulted by priests and expressed his regret. In Malta, he also met abuse victims, who moved him to tears.
He has authored more than 66 volumes, including the papal works “Caritas in Veritate,” “Spesalvi,” and “Deus Caritas est.” Additionally, he has penned three exhortations with the titles Sacramentum Caritatis, Verbum Domini, and Africae munus. His authored works have been published in excess of 600.
Additionally, he advocated for the peaceful and productive use of nuclear energy and made a case for nuclear disarmament.
Honors & Awards
Throughout his pontificate, he held the positions of Grand Master of the Order of St. Sylvester, Order of Pius IX, Order of the Golden Spur, Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great, and Supreme of the Order of Christ.
He received the Bavarian Constitution Medal in Gold and the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1985.
In 1991, he was also given the Leopold Kunschak Prize, which is given for outstanding contributions to the humanities, social sciences, and economy.
In 1992, he was awarded the Decoration of Honor for Services to the Austrian Republic. In the same year, he also received the Anacapri Literature Prize.
Pope’s Individual Life
Benedict XVI enjoys watching vintage black and white comedies and playing the piano because he is a good pianist. He enjoys listening to classical music and especially enjoys Beethoven and Mozart compositions.
Additionally, he sang praises to the Blessed Virgin Mary on an album. 2009 was the intended year of release for the album.
He enjoys cats, and Contessina, his cat, is rumored to reside at his home. When he was a Cardinal, he reportedly used to care for neighborhood stray animals. Additionally, he has a history of traveling with cats to keep him company while visiting different nations.
The Pope has a history of reading and writing in his free time when he retired.
Estimated Net Worth
The Pope is among the wealthiest and most well-liked religious leaders. Pope Benedict XVI’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million based on our analysis of data from sources like Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.
He speaks ten languages well.
His mother had made him plush animals when he was younger, and he still keeps them.
The orange marmalade he enjoys.