Pope Benedict XVI

Also known as
Joseph Alois Ratzinger

Saturday 16 April 1927 in Marktl am Inn, Germany as Joseph Alois Ratzinger

Papal Ascension
Tuesday 19 April 2005


Son of a police officer from Lower Bavaria.

In 1929 his family moved to Tittmoning, but after his anti-Nazi father get into trouble with locals, they moved to Traunstein in 1932.

In 1941 at age 14 he was required to join the Hitler Youth, but never attended any meetings.

In 1943 at age 16 he was drafted into the auxiliary anti-aircraft service; apparently never fired a shot.

In 1944 he was released from the unit, but immediately drafted into a forced labor gang, forced to dig anti-tank trenches. After a few months he was released, but almost immediately drafted into the regular army. Joseph completed basic training, but in 1945 he deserted rather than kill anyone; apparently never fired a shot. Captured by Americans, he spent time in an Allied prisoner of war camp. Studied philosophy and theology at the University of Munich and at Freising from 1946 to 1951. Ordained, along with his brother Georg, on 29 June 1951

Teacher. Doctor of theology in 1953. University professor in 1957, teaching dogma and fundamental theology in Freising (1957 to 1959), the University of Bonn (1959 to 1969), Münster (1963 to 1966), and the University of Tübinga (1966 to 1969).

Worked with the theologian Hans Kung, but when he saw that the liberals were approaching Marxism, Joseph became a firm traditionalist.

Professor of dogmatic theology and of the history of dogma at the University of Regensburg in 1969.

Vice President of the University of Regensburg.

Theology consultor at Vatican II to Cardinal Joseph Frings, 1962 to 1965.

One of the founders of the theological periodical Communio.

Archbishop of Munich and Freising on 28 May 1977.

Created cardinal on 27 June 1977 by Pope Paul VI.

Relator of the Fifth General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in 1980. Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on 25 November 1981.

President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. President of the International Theological Commission.

President Delegate to the Sixth Synodal Assembly of Bishops in 1983.

President of the Commission for the Preparation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1986 to 1992).

Vice-Dean of the College of Cardinals, 6 November 1998.

Honorary member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, 13 November 2000.

Dean of the College of Cardinals on 30 November 2002. 265th pope.


All About Our Site

Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager

Bible Story illustrations by publishing.com 

Powered byEMF Form Builder