Pope Benedict XVI
April 19, 2005------------
Following is a brief biography of the newly elected Pope
Benedict XVI, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Sources used: the Vatican web
site and FOX NEWS: Linda Vester's "Dayside".
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, former prefect of the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith, President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission
and of the International Theological Commission, Dean of the College of
Cardinals, was born on April 16, 1927 in Marktl, Bavaria, Germany. He
was ordained a priest on June 29, 1951.
father, a police officer, came from a traditional family of farmers
from Lower Bavaria. He spent his adolescent years in Traunstein, and
was called into the auxiliary anti-aircraft service in the last months
of World War II [just as when he was a teenager, a mandatory
conscription of his enrollment in the Hitler youth], but he
deserted and willingly became a prisoner of war. Meanwhile his father,
a staunch anti-Nazi took lesser positions in order to avoid helping the
Nazis. 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, in Bonn from 1959 to 1969, in Munster from 1963 to 1966, and
in Tubinga from 1966 to 1969. From 1969, he was professor of dogmatic
theology and of the history of dogma at the University of Regensburg
and vice president of the same university.
He was already well known in 1962 when, at Vatican Council II at the
age of 35, he became a consultor to Cardinal Joseph Frings, archbishop
of Cologne. 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; and to
"Dogma and Revelation" an anthology of essays, sermons and reflections
dedicated to the pastoral ministry, published in 1973.
In March 1977, Paul VI appointed him Archbishop of Munich and Freising
and on May 28, 1977 he was consecrated-----the first diocesan priest
after 80 years to take over the pastoral ministry of this large
Created and proclaimed cardinal by Paul VI in the consistory of June
27, 1977, he assumed the titles of the suburbicarian Church of
Velletri-Segni (April 5, 1993) and of the suburbicarian Church of Ostia
(November 30, 2002).
On November 25, 1981 he was nominated by John Paul II as prefect of the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; and as president of the
Biblical Commission and of the Pontifical International Theological
He was relator of the 5th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
(1980). He was president delegate to the 6th Synodal Assembly (1983).
Elected vice dean of the College of Cardinals November 6, 1998, the
Holy Father approved his election, by the order of cardinal bishops, as
dean of the College of Cardinals on November 30, 2002.
As President of the Commission for the Preparation of the Catechism of
the Catholic Church, after 6 years of work (1986-92) he presented the
New Catechism to the Holy Father.
He received an honoris causa degree in jurisprudence from the Free
University of Maria Santissima Assunta on November 10. 1999.
He became an honorary member of the Pontifical Academy of
Sciences, November 13, 2000.
Signor Messori is the famous
whose interview with Pope Benedict became "The Ratzinger Report" said
that he thinks
that pope Benedict will make "a quick and drastic intervention in the
liturgy to give it back
stability and sacredness" (last paragraph: "un intervento rapido
drastico sulla liturgia per ridarle stabilità e
Secretariat of State (second section).----- Oriental Churches, Divine
Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, Bishops, Evangelization of
Peoples, Catholic Education (congregations).------ Christian Unity
(council).------- Latin America, Ecclesia Dei (commissions). -----V.I.S.
[Italian language site]