December 31, 2022

Important events in the life of Pope Benedict XVI

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Here are some important events in the life of Pope Benedict XVI. (See our main story on his life and death here)

April 16, 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.

June 29, 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.

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

June 27, 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.

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

Dec. 22, 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.

Sept. 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.

April 16, 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.

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

April 15-20, 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 excommunication of four traditionalist bishops belonging to the Society of St. Pius X to clear the way for reconciliation talks with the group.

Nov. 4, 2009: With the apostolic constitution "Anglicanorum coetibus," Pope Benedict establishes personal ordinariates for Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church.

July 15, 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.

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

Feb. 28, 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.

Dec. 31, 2022: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI dies at 9:34 a.m.

Local site Links: