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Pope Benedict XVI
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  • Pope Benedict XVI served as Pope of the Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013


 Pope Benedict XVI facts


  • He was elected pope on 19 April 2005, was inaugurated on 24 April 2005 and resigned from the office on 28 February 2013
  • Benedict's election occurred in a papal conclave following the death of Pope John Paul II
  • Ordained as a priest in 1951 in his native Bavaria, Ratzinger established himself as a highly regarded university theologian by the late 1950s and was appointed a full professor in 1958
  • After a long career as an academic and professor of theology at several German universities, he was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising and Cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1977, an unusual promotion for someone with little pastoral experience
  • In 1981, he was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, one of the most important dicasteries of the Roman Curia
  • From 2002 until his election as Pope, he was also Dean of the College of Cardinals, and as such, the primus inter pares among the Cardinals
  • Prior to becoming Pope, he was "a major figure on the Vatican stage for a quarter of a century"; he had an influence "second to none when it came to setting church priorities and directions" as one of John Paul II's closest confidants
  • He was originally a liberal theologian, but adopted conservative views after 1968
  • His prolific writings defend traditional Catholic doctrine and values
  • During his papacy, Benedict XVI advocated a return to fundamental Christian values to counter the increased secularisation of many Western countries

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