Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died on December 31 at the age of 95 in the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, located in Vatican City. The ringing of bells announcing the death of the pontiff was heard in different parts of the world, from Jerusalem to Munich, Germany.
The German theologian Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger was the 265th pope of the Catholic Church, he had a pontificate of almost eight years, but on February 11, 2013, he himself announced his resignation for health reasons.
Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger was born on April 16, 1927 in Marktl, a village in the southeast of Germany, and his childhood was marked by the difficult times his country faced after the First World War. This is how he tells it in his autobiography. my life: memories.
Our life in Marktl was hard, it was a time with high levels of unemployment. The reconstruction that Germany had to do after the war was a great burden on its economy. Conflicts between political parties made the people clash.
His father, Joseph Ratzinger, was a police officer, his mother, Maria Rieger, was a homemaker, and he had two siblings Georg and Maria, who, like him, were raised in a devout Catholic family. Neighbors described the Ratzinger family as ordinary people with very nice and attentive children. However, his life was not immune to the problems that arose in Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany.
It may seem strange, but the darkness of that period of History, and the war, did not obscure the inner light in me, thanks to the power of knowledge. Latin and Greek classes filled me with joy. It was the moment when I discovered literature and read Goethe with such pleasure.
Despite his experiences, he did not stray from his love for the things of God and entered the seminary with his brother. Both were ordained priests in an emotional ceremony in the city of Freising, in the year 1951.
Something happened during the priestly sacramentation, which for me was a sign. A bird flew into the Cathedral, landed on the altar and began to sing. I’m not superstitious, but somehow that meant things had to be that way.
He always distinguished himself as a reserved person, but he had the gift of speech and his sermons as a priest were famous. He later became Archbishop of Munich and Freising in 1977 and then Cardinal. When John Paul II died, a conclave was held to elect the successor of Saint Peter and on April 19, 2005, Benedict XVI assumed leadership of the Catholic Church, leading more than 1.3 billion Catholics in the world.
His papacy was distinguished by his conservatism, since he always appealed to preserve the traditions in the Catholic Church, which is why they came to nickname him the “rottweiler of God.” However, he was the first pope to apologize to victims of clerical abuse. In addition, he introduced rules to expel abusive priests and made it clear that it is the duty of bishops to denounce such cases.
His encyclicals are memorable, as they all bear the stamp of his marked spirituality. In addition, he was an outstanding writer, a polyglot man who promoted Christian compassion and a tireless fighter against injustice and defender of social causes. Rest in peace.
“It is with regret that I announce that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI passed away today at 9:34 a.m. in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery of the Vatican. As soon as possible, more information will be provided. Reports the Director of the Vatican Press Office pic.twitter.com/BrQ6UciuiL
— Vatican News (@vaticannews_es) December 31, 2022