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Pope Benedict XVI

RATZINGER ELECTED POPE // Pope Benedict XVI (© MSNBC)

April 19, 2005

Habemus Papam

"We should not remain as children in the faith, in the state of minors. And what does it mean to be children in the faith? St. Paul answers: It means to be "tossed to and from and carried about with every wind of doctrine" (Ephesians 4:14). A very timely description!"

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and International Theological Commission, Dean of the College of Cardinals, was born on 16 April 1927 in Marktl am Inn, Germany. He was ordained a priest on 29 June 1951.

His father, a police officer, came from a traditional family of farmers from Lower Baviera. He spent his adolescent years in Traunstein, and was called into the auxiliary anti-aircraft service in the last months of World War II. From 1946 to 1951, the year in which he was ordained a priest and began to teach, he studied philosophy and theology at the University of Munich and at the higher school in Freising. In 1953 he obtained a doctorate in theology with a thesis entitled: "The People and House of God in St. Augustine’s doctrine of the Church". Four years later, he qualified as a university teacher. He then taught dogma and fundamental theology at the higher school of philosophy and theology of Freising, then in Bonn from 1959 to 1969, Münster from 1963 to 1966, Tubinga from 1966 to 1969. From 1969, he was a professor of dogmatic theology and of the history of dogma at the University of Regensburg and Vice President of the same university.

Already in 1962 he was well known when, at the age of 35, he became a consultor at Vatican Council II, of the Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Joseph Frings. Among his numerous publications, a particular post belongs to the ‘Introduction to Christianity’, a collection of university lessons on the profession of apostolic faith, published in 1968; Dogma and revelation, an anthology of essays, sermons and reflections dedicated to the pastoral ministry, published in 1973.

In March 1977, Paul VI elected him Archbishop of Munich and Freising and on 28 May 1977 he was consecrated, the first diocesan priest after 80 years to take over the pastoral ministry of this large Bavarian diocese.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Paul VI in the consistory of 27 June 1977. Titular churches, suburbicarian see of Velletri-Segni (5 April 1993) and suburbicarian see of Ostia (30 November 2002).

On 25 November 1981 he was nominated by John Paul II Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; President of the Biblical Commission and of the Pontifical International Theological Commission.

Relator of the 5th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (1980).

President Delegate to the 6th Synodal Assembly (1983).

Elected Vice Dean of the College of Cardinals, 6 November 1998.  On 30 November 2002, the Holy Father approved the election, by the order of cardinal bishops, as Dean of the College of Cardinals.

President of the Commission for the Preparation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and after 6 years of work (1986-92) he presented the New Catechism to the Holy Father.

Laurea honoris causa in jurisprudence from the Libera Università Maria Santissima Assunta, 10 November 1999.

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

Curial Membership:

  • Secretariat of State (second section)

  • Oriental Churches, Divine Worship and Sacraments, Bishops, Evangelization of Peoples, Catholic Education (congregations)

  • Christian Unity, Culture (councils)

  • Latin America, Ecclesia Dei (commissions)

Choice of  the Name Benedict

The choice of the name Benedict (Latin "the blessed") is significant. Benedict XVI used his first General Audience in St. Peter's Square, on April 27, 2005, to explain to the world on why he chose the name:

"Filled with sentiments of awe and thanksgiving, I wish to speak of why I chose the name Benedict. Firstly, I remember Pope Benedict XV, that courageous prophet of peace, who guided the Church through turbulent times of war. In his footsteps I place my ministry in the service of reconciliation and harmony between peoples. Additionally, I recall Saint Benedict of Norcia, co-patron of Europe, whose life evokes the Christian roots of Europe. I ask him to help us all to hold firm to the centrality of Christ in our Christian life: May Christ always take first place in our thoughts and actions!"

Books Written by Pope Benedict XVI  

God of Jesus Christ (1978)
The Ratzinger Report ISBN 0-89870-080-9 (1985)
Feast of Faith: Approaches to a Theology of the Liturgy (1986)
Principles of Christian Morality (1986)
Journey Towards Easter: Retreat Given in the Vatican in the Presence of Pope John Paul II (1987)
Principles of Catholic Theology: Building Stones for a Fundamental Theology (1987)
Eschatology - Death and Eternal Life, Volume 9 in the series: Johann Auer and Joseph Ratzinger, Dogmatic Theology, ISBN 0-8132-0633-2 (Washington, D.C. 1988)
Mary: God's Yes to Man : Pope John Paul II Encyclical Letter : Mother of the Redeemer (1988)
"In the Beginning...": A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall (1990)
To Look on Christ: Exercises in Faith, Hope, and Love (1991)
Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year (1992)
The Meaning of Christian Brotherhood (1993)
A Turning Point for Europe?: The Church in the Modern World-Assessment and Forecast (1994)
The Nature and Mission of Theology: Essays to Orient Theology in Today's Debates (1995)
Called to Communion: Understanding the Church Today (1996)
Gospel, Catechesis, Catechism: Sidelights on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1997)
Salt of the Earth: an interview with Peter Seewald ISBN 0-89870-640-8 (1997)
Catechism of the Catholic Church: Corrigenda (1998)
Ad Tuendam Fidem - to Protect the Faith (1998)
Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977 (1998)
Many Religions, One Covenant: Israel, the Church, and the World (1999)
The Spirit of the Liturgy (2000)
God and the World: A Conversation With Peter Seewald (2002)
God Is Near Us: The Eucharist, the Heart of Life (2003)
Truth And Tolerance: Christian Belief And World Religions (2004)
The End of Time?: The Provocation of Talking about God (2005)
Pilgrim Fellowship Of Faith: The Church As Communion (2005)

External Links

Magazine founded by Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI, and others. Contains recent articles by him.

http://www.communio-icr.com

Pope Benedict XVI Fan Club

http://www.popebenedictxvifanclub.com/index.html

The Pope Blog: Pope Benedict XVI

http://thepopeblog.blogspot.com

Pope Benedict XVI
Includes biography, some quotations from his works, and photo.

http://www.ewtn.com/pope/life/index.asp

The Ratzinger Report is a book-long interview with then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger that his friend and former student, Father Joseph Fessio, S.J., says could be called the “Magna Carta” of the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI.

Following are some excerpts from this book, published in English by Ignatius Press in 1985. Fr. Fessio, founder and editor-in-chief of Ignatius Press, said the statements in The Ratzinger Report remain true today.

http://www.ignatius.com/books/benedictxvibooks/excerptRR.htm

 

 

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