Pope Benedict XVI was born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger . At age fourteen he was a member of Hitler’s Youth. In 1941 one of Ratziner’s cousins, a fourteen year with Down Syndrome was murdered by the Nazi regime. Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger was drafted into the German Anti-Aircraft for which he would later desert.
He served as Pope from 2005 to 2013. He is a native Bavania. After serving a long career in academics in Germany with the last being University of Regensburg, where he served as Vice President. In 1977 he received the unusual appointment of Archbishop of Munich and Freising and cardinal unusual because of his lack of pastoral experience.
Ratzinger was ordinated June 29, 1951. He was one of Pope John Paul’s closest confidants. Benedict was elected at age 78 one of the oldest Popes ever elected since Pope Clement XII (1730 – 40).
Prior to his Papacy he was one of the most respected, influential and controversial members of the College of Cardinals. Benedict XVI started off as a liberal theologian but after1968 he developed conservative views. Pope Benedict advocated a return to fundamental Catholic values. He promoted the use of Latin and reintroduced traditional Papal garb.
Ratzinger defended and reaffirmed Catholic doctrine pertaining to things like birth control, homosexuality, and inter- religious dialogue.
During the sex abuse scandals Ratzinger’s 2001 letter clarifying the confidentiality of internal church investigation become a point of controversy. Explaining them during sexual abuse charges and accusations against priest was difficult. Especially, given the fact that before becoming Pope Cardinal Ratzinger was in charge of enforcing the doctrine for twenty years.
Although Bishops hold the doctrine for internal purposes and would not preclude civil law enforcement. Nonetheless, many viewed the letter as an attempt to “cover up”. When Ratzinger became Pope he was accused of covering up in a lawsuit pertaining to molestation of two Texas boys. He sought and received diplomatic immunity from prosecution.
Outrage flared over in 2010 with some calling for the arrest of the Pontiff in connection with the prosecution of priest Lawrence Murphy of Wisconsin in 1996 when Murphy admitted to molesting over 200 boys.
The secret church trials were halted when Murphy asked the Pontiff for mercy.
David Clohessy, who sued the Missouri parish priest that molested him when he was eleven said, “The Pope has to be held accountable”.
From 1981 until the day Ratzinger became Pope he was in charge of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the church’s disciplinary arm.
On February 11, 2013 Pope Benedict resigned in a speech in Latin. Stating it was due to his advance age. Pope Benedict’s permanent place of residences after his retirement will be Vatican City’s Mater Ecclesiae, formerly used for Nuns. This move will protect the Pontiff with legal protection from future law suits.