56 Facts About Josef Ratzinger


Josef Ratzinger was appointed a full professor in 1958 at the age of 31.

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Josef Ratzinger was originally a liberal theologian, but adopted conservative views after 1968.

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Josef Ratzinger taught the importance of both the Catholic Church and an understanding of God's redemptive love.

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Josef Ratzinger strengthened the relationship between the Catholic Church and art, promoted the use of Latin, and reintroduced traditional papal vestments, for which reason he was called "the pope of aesthetics".

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Josef Ratzinger has been described as "the main intellectual force in the Church" since the mid-1980s.

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Josef Ratzinger is the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so on his own initiative since Celestine V in 1294.

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Josef Ratzinger was succeeded by Francis on 13 March 2013, and he moved into the newly renovated Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican for his retirement on 2 May 2013.

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Josef Ratzinger is a member of several social science academies, such as the French Academie des Sciences Morales et Politiques.

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Josef Ratzinger plays the piano and has a preference for Mozart and Bach.

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Joseph Aloisius Josef Ratzinger was born on 16 April, Holy Saturday, 1927, at Schulstraße 11, at 8:30 in the morning in his parents' home in Marktl, Bavaria, Germany.

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Josef Ratzinger is the third and youngest child of Joseph Ratzinger Sr.

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Benedict's elder brother, Georg Josef Ratzinger, was a Catholic priest and was the former director of the Regensburger Domspatzen choir.

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At the age of five, Josef Ratzinger was in a group of children who welcomed the visiting Cardinal Archbishop of Munich, Michael von Faulhaber, with flowers.

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Josef Ratzinger attended the elementary school in Aschau am Inn, which was renamed in his honour in 2009.

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The intellectual affinity between these two thinkers, who would later become decisive figures for the twentieth-century Catholic Church, was preoccupied with rediscovering the essential in Christianity: Guardini wrote his 1938 "The Essence of Christianity, " while Josef Ratzinger penned "Introduction to Christianity", three decades later in 1968.

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Josef Ratzinger wrote an introduction to a 1996 reissue of Guardini's 1954 "The Lord".

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Josef Ratzinger began as a chaplain at the parish St Martin, Moosach, in Munich in 1951.

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Josef Ratzinger became a professor at the University of Bonn in 1959, with his inaugural lecture on "The God of Faith and the God of Philosophy".

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Josef Ratzinger was viewed during the time of the council as a reformer, cooperating with theologians like Hans Kung and Edward Schillebeeckx.

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Josef Ratzinger became an admirer of Karl Rahner, a well-known academic theologian of the Nouvelle Theologie and a proponent of church reform.

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In 1966, Josef Ratzinger was appointed to a chair in dogmatic theology at the University of Tubingen, where he was a colleague of Hans Kung.

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Josef Ratzinger came increasingly to see these and associated developments as connected to a departure from traditional Catholic teachings.

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Some voices, among them Kung, deem this a turn towards conservatism, while Josef Ratzinger himself said in a 1993 interview, "I see no break in my views as a theologian [over the years]".

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Josef Ratzinger continued to defend the work of the Second Vatican Council, including Nostra aetate, the document on respect of other religions, ecumenism and the declaration of the right to freedom of religion.

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Josef Ratzinger served as Vice President of the University of Regensburg from 1976 to 1977.

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Josef Ratzinger was promoted within the College of Cardinals to become Cardinal Bishop of Velletri-Segni in 1993 and was made the college's vice-dean in 1998 and dean in 2002.

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Josef Ratzinger defended and reaffirmed Catholic doctrine, including teaching on topics such as birth control, homosexuality and inter-religious dialogue.

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For 20 years, Josef Ratzinger had been the man in charge of enforcing the document.

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In 1997, when he turned 70, Josef Ratzinger asked Pope John Paul II for permission to leave the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith and to become an archivist in the Vatican Secret Archives and a librarian in the Vatican Library, but Pope John Paul II refused his assent.

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Josef Ratzinger is the oldest person to have been elected pope since Pope Clement XII .

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Josef Ratzinger served longer as a cardinal before becoming Pope than any Pontiff since Benedict XIII .

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On 2 January 2005, Time magazine quoted unnamed Vatican sources as saying that Josef Ratzinger was a front runner to succeed John Paul II should he die or become too ill to continue as pope.

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Josef Ratzinger chose the pontifical name Benedict, which comes from the Latin word meaning "the blessed", in honour of both Benedict XV and Benedict of Nursia.

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Josef Ratzinger took up this theme in his first encyclical Deus caritas est.

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Josef Ratzinger said that "a dictatorship of relativism" was the core challenge facing the church and humanity.

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Josef Ratzinger said that this self-amputation of reason leads to pathologies of religion such as terrorism and pathologies of science such as ecological disasters.

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Josef Ratzinger condemned the prevalent economic system "where the pernicious effects of sin are evident, " and called on people to rediscover ethics in business and economic relations.

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Josef Ratzinger himself had almost completed a first draft of an encyclical on faith.

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Josef Ratzinger had served there as a professor of theology before becoming Pope, and his lecture was entitled "Faith, Reason and the University—Memories and Reflections".

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Josef Ratzinger visited Poland and Spain, where he was enthusiastically received.

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Josef Ratzinger's visit to Turkey, an overwhelmingly Muslim nation, was initially overshadowed by the controversy about a lecture he had given at Regensburg.

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Josef Ratzinger's visit was met by nationalist and Islamic protesters and was placed under unprecedented security measures.

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Josef Ratzinger arrived in Washington, DC where he was formally received at the White House and met privately with U S President George W Bush.

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Biographer Andrea Tornielli suggested that Cardinal Josef Ratzinger had wanted to take action against Maciel but that John Paul II and other high-ranking officials, including several cardinals and the Pope's influential secretary Stanislaw Dziwisz, prevented him from doing so.

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When Maciel was honored by the Pope in 2004, new accusers came forward and Cardinal Josef Ratzinger "took it on himself to authorize an investigation of Maciel".

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In September 1991, Josef Ratzinger suffered a hemorrhagic stroke, which slightly impaired his eyesight temporarily but which he recovered completely.

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French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin said that since the first stroke Josef Ratzinger had been suffering from an age-related heart condition, for which he was on medication.

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Josef Ratzinger declared that he would continue to serve the church "through a life dedicated to prayer".

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Josef Ratzinger stayed there until refurbishment was completed on his retirement home, the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican Gardens near St Peter's, formerly home to 12 nuns, where he moved on 2 May 2013.

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Josef Ratzinger continued to wear the white cassock but without the pellegrina or the fascia.

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Josef Ratzinger joined his successor several months after his election at the unveiling of a new statue of Saint Michael the Archangel.

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Josef Ratzinger then made an appearance at the canonization mass of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, greeting the cardinals and Francis.

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Josef Ratzinger attended the beatification of Pope Paul VI in October 2014.

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Josef Ratzinger called on Catholic communities and organizations to offer them concrete help.

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Josef Ratzinger said Turkey had always been "in permanent contrast to Europe and that linking it to Europe would be a mistake".

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Josef Ratzinger recorded an album of contemporary classical music in which he sings and recites prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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