Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Pope Benedict XVI

This individual is not a direct affiliate of the Berkley Center.

Pope Benedict XVI (emeritus) was the head of the Roman Catholic Church from 2005 until 2013, when he voluntarily resigned from the papacy. He was born Joseph Ratzinger in Bavaria in 1927 and became a respected theologian and university professor. He served as an advisor at the Second Vatican Council, where he joined Karl Rahner in advancing a progressive agenda. He went on to spend over two decades as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where he gained a reputation as a doctrinal hardliner, seemingly trying to correct what he took as misapplications of the Council’s intended spirit. He ascended to the papacy in 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II, to whom he was a close friend and advisor, and has issued three encyclicals: Deus Caritas Est, Spe Salvi, and Caritas in veritate.


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