Place of Birth. Education. Josef Alois Ratzinger was born in the Bavarian city of Marktl am Inn (Germany). He became the third and youngest child in the family of Gendarmerie Commissioner Joseph Ratzinger and Maria Ratzinger. With the outbreak of World War II, he joined the ranks of the Hitler Youth. At the end of the war, he was called up for military service in the air defense support unit in Munich. Ratzinger did not have to take part in the battles. When the American troops approached, he deserted, returned home, but was soon arrested. He spent several months in a prisoner of war camp.
He graduated with a degree in theology and philosophy in 1946-1951. at the University of Munich.
Divine service. In June 1951 he was ordained a priest. In 1953 he defended his dissertation on the legacy of Blessed Augustine and became one of the best theologians in Germany. Since 1959 he taught at the Department of Theology at the University of Bonn.
In 1972, in opposition to anti-clerical publications, he founded the theological journal Communio, which still exists today.
On June 27, 1977, he was appointed cardinal.
On November 25, 1981, he headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (also known as the Holy Inquisition, renamed in 1908 by Pope Pius X).
On November 30, 2002, Ratzinger becomes Dean of the College of Cardinals.
Pontificate. On April 19, 2005, he was elected Pope (265th in a row). Chose the name Benedict XVI.
He became the oldest at the time of his election as Pope since the time of Pope Clement XII (elected in 1730). Also Benedict XVI is the first Pope since the time of Pope Paul IV (XVI century), who was elected as dean of the College of Cardinals. In addition, Pope Benedict XVI is the first cardinal bishop elected to the papacy since the time of Pius VIII, as well as the first cardinal since the time of Benedict XIII, who had the rank of cardinal before being elected to the papacy for a long time (28 years).
Benedict XVI is fluent in German, Italian, Latin, English and Spanish. Reads texts in ancient Greek and Hebrew.
Benedict XVI is the author of the books “Introduction to Christianity”, “New Song to the Lord”, “Servants of Your Joy”.
In 2007, Benedict XVI celebrated his 80th birthday. In honor of the anniversary, one of the German radio stations broadcast its program in Latin. And in the homeland of the pontiff, in the house where he was born, a museum was opened. In the small Bavarian town where the Pope was born, family heirlooms, theological works of Joseph Ratzinger and numerous souvenirs awaited guests from all over the world. Jubilee beer was poured in the beer town, special “papal” chocolate was sold in coffee houses.
Renunciation. In February 2013, Pope Benedict XVI voluntarily abdicated the throne. On March 13, 2013, the conclave of cardinals elected Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new Pope, who chose the name Francis. For Benedict XVI, it was decided to secure the title of honorary Pope.