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Benedict XVI served as pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013. He is best known for his rigid views on Catholicism and topics such as birth control and homosexuality.
In this biography video of the Papal Election in 2005, we see that the election for the new Pope was an easy one because of Pope John Paul's friendship with the man who would soon become known as Pope Benedict XVI.
In this biography video, we hear Pope Benedict XVI's most controversial speech. On September 12, 2006 the Pope visited his homeland of Bavaria where he said that the only things Muhammad did were evil and destructive.
In this biography video, we see Pope Benedict XVI's wardrobe mishap on the day of his revealing after being named the new Pope. With more than 100,000 waiting outside of the Vatican to see the Pope, inside the Pope has nothing to wear.'
Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires in 1936 and became Pope Francis on March 13, 2013, the first non-European pope in over 1,000 years. Watch this short video to learn about the life of Pope Francis.
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He was viewed as a reformer during this time.
In 1972, Ratzinger helped found the theological journal Communio, which became one of the most important journals of Catholic thought.
In March 1977, he was named archbishop of Munich and Freising and, three months later, was named a Cardinal by Pope Paul VI.
Pope John Paul II named Ratzinger prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In 1998, he became Vice Dean of the College of Cardinals and was elected Dean in 2002. Ratzinger defended and reaffirmed Catholic doctrine, including teaching on topics such as birth control, homosexuality and inter-religious dialogue.
Ratzinger was elevated to the papacy on April 19, 2005, upon the death of Pope John Paul II, and celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass five days later. Known for his rigid views on Catholicism, he has sought a more inclusive image as pope.
In 2008, Benedict made his first visit as pope to the United States, where he spoke out against clerical sexual abuse and delivered an address at the United Nations. That same year, to foster relations and understanding between religions, Benedict addressed the first Catholic-Muslim Forum, a three-day conference of Catholic theologians and Islamic scholars.
In February 2013, at the age of 85, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would be resigning on February 28, 2013—becoming the first pope in centuries to step down from his post.
According to several media reports, Benedict's decision centered on his old age, and physical and mental weakness. In one statement, the pope explained, "I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise." He went on to state, "In today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of St. Peter and proclaim the gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me ... For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom, I declare that I renounce the ministry of bishop of Rome, successor of St. Peter."
Benedict served his final day as pope on February 28, 2013. Traveling by helicopter, he departed the Vatican for the summer papal residence in Casel Gandolfo, Italy. Benedict stay there while renovations are made at a convent for him at the Vatican where he will live for the rest of his days.
One of Benedict's final acts as a pope was to send a message to the faithful via his Twitter page. "Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the center of your lives." He will continue to be known as Benedict XVI in his retirement and has been given the title of pope emeritus.
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For more about Pope Benedict and the history of papal resignations, go to History.com.
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