Pope Benedict XVI, 1927-,
May God Bless Our Holy Father.
The Grand Chaplainship of The Imperial Teutonic Order
is formally vested, with the Holy See of St. Peter, Rome.
HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI - 1927-
May God Bless Our Holy Father in Christ
Pope Benedict XVI (Latin: Benedictus
PP. XVI; Italian: Benedetto XVI;
German: Benedikt XVI.; French: Benoît XVI; born Joseph Alois Ratzinger
16 April 1927) is the 265th and reigning Pope, by virtue of his
office of Bishop of Rome, the head of the Catholic Church
and, as such,
Sovereign of the Vatican City State. He was elected on 19 April 2005
in a papal conclave, celebrated
his Papal Inauguration Mass on 24 April
2005, and took possession of his cathedral, the Basilica of St. John
on 7 May 2005. A native of Bavaria, Pope Benedict XVI has both
German and Vatican citizenship. He succeeded Pope John
Benedict XVI is theologically conservative, and his
teaching and prolific
writings defend traditional Catholic doctrine and values. After a long
career as an internationally
noted academic, serving as a professor of
theology at various German universities, he was appointed Archbishop of
Munich and Freising and cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1977. In 1981, he
settled in Rome when he became Prefect of the
Congregation for the Doctrine
of the Faith, one of the most important offices of the Roman Curia. At the
his election as Pope, he was also Dean of the College of Cardinals,
and as such the primus inter pares among the cardinals.
During his papacy, Benedict XVI has emphasized
what he sees as a need for
Europe to return to fundamental Christian values in response to increasing
and secularisation in many developed countries. For
this reason, he proclaims relativism's denial of objective truth-and
particularly, the denial of moral truths-as the central problem of the
21st century. He teaches the importance
for the Catholic Church and for
humanity of contemplating God's redemptive love and has reaffirmed the
of prayer in the face of the activism and the growing
secularism of many Christians engaged in charitable work."
The Pope has
also revived a number of traditions, and notably given the Tridentine
Mass a more prominent position.
Pope Benedict was also the founder and patron of the Ratzinger
a charitable organisation, which makes money from the sale of books and
essays written by the Pope,
in order to fund scholarships and bursaries
for students across the world.
Benedict XVI was elected Pope at the age of 78.
He is the oldest person
to have been elected Pope since Pope Clement XII (1730-40). He had
served longer as a cardinal
than any Pope since Benedict XIII (1724-30).
He is the eighth German Pope, the seventh having been Pope Stephen IX
in 1057. The last Pope named Benedict was Benedict XV, an Italian who
reigned from 1914 to 1922, during World War
Born in 1927 in Marktl am Inn, Bavaria, Germany,
Ratzinger had a
distinguished career as a university theologian before being appointed
Archbishop of Munich and
Freising by Pope Paul VI (1963-78). Shortly
afterwards, he was made a cardinal in the consistory of 27 June 1977.
He was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the
Faith by Pope John Paul II in 1981 and was also
assigned the honorific
title of the cardinal bishop of Velletri-Segni on 5 April 1993.
In 1998, he was elected sub-dean of the College of Cardinals. And on 30
2002, he was elected dean, taking, as is customary, the title
of Cardinal bishop of the suburbicarian diocese of Ostia.
He was the
first Dean of the College elected Pope since Paul IV (1555-59) and the
first cardinal bishop elected
Pope since Pius VIII (1829-30).
becoming Pope, Ratzinger was one of the most influential men
in the Roman Curia, and was a close associate of John Paul
II. As Dean
of the College of Cardinals, he presided over the funeral of John Paul II
and over the Mass immediately
preceding the 2005 conclave in which he
was elected. During the service, he called on the assembled cardinals to
hold fast to the doctrine of the faith. He was the public face of the
church in the sede vacante period, although,
technically, he ranked below
the camerlengo in administrative authority during that time. Like his
Benedict XVI affirms traditional Catholic doctrine.
addition to his native German, Benedict XVI fluently speaks Italian,
French, English, Spanish, Latin, and also has a
knowledge of Portuguese.
He can read Ancient Greek and biblical Hebrew. He has stated that his
first foreign language
is French. He is a member of a large number of
academies, such as the French Académie des sciences morales et
He plays the piano and has a preference for Mozart and Bach.