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
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.
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).
Delegate to the 6th Synodal Assembly (1983).
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
causa in jurisprudence from the Libera Università Maria Santissima Assunta, 10
of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, 13 November 2000.
of State (second section)
Churches, Divine Worship and Sacraments, Bishops, Evangelization of Peoples,
Catholic Education (congregations)
Unity, Culture (councils)
Latin America, Ecclesia Dei
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
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
"In the Beginning...": A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the
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
The Nature and Mission of Theology: Essays to Orient Theology in Today's Debates
Called to Communion: Understanding the Church Today (1996)
Gospel, Catechesis, Catechism: Sidelights on the Catechism of the Catholic
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)
founded by Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI, and others. Contains recent
articles by him.
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.