Pope Benedict XVI / Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger
Who is he: Born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, became Pope Benedict XVI on 19 April 2005 when he was elected to succeed Pope John Paul II. Ratzinger was a reluctant successor, having hoped to retire peacefully years earlier.
At 78, Ratzinger is the oldest person to have been elected Pope since Pope Clement XII (1730–40). Ratzinger chose the pontifical name Benedict. The name evolved from the Latin word meaning "the blessed," in honor of both Pope Benedict XV and Saint Benedict of Nursia. At the time of Ratzinger's election as Pope, Benedict was also serving as Dean of the College of Cardinals.
By virtue of his office as the 265th and current Pope, Ratzinger is the Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the head of the Roman Catholic Church. A native of Bavaria, Pope Benedict XVI maintains his German citizenship as well as his Vatican citizenship. Ratzinger is a prolific writer and money from his books and essays goes to fund the Ratzinger Foundation, a charitable organization that funds scholarships and bursaries for students around the world.
The charismatic John Paul was a kind of liturgical superstar. Ratzinger is nothing of the sort, non-charismatic and seemingly quiet. The larger problem of course is that the Church itself seems to be aiding and abetting the power elite's elevated efforts regarding one world government. One has yet to hear an emphatic, public denunciation of the wars and others measures that Anglosphere elites are inflicting on Western populations. The Church in this regard seems to be more or less part of the problem than the solution.
Background: Pope Benedict XVI, was born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger at Marktl am Inn, Diocese of Passau (Germany) on 16 April 1927, the youngest of three children. Ratzinger's family was of modest means. His father, a policeman, came from an old family of farmers and his mother was the daughter of artisans from Rimsting. Before marrying, she worked as a cook in a number of hotels.
Ratzinger spent his childhood and adolescence in a small village near the Austrian border where he lived through the harsh experience of a Nazi regime that pursued a hostile attitude towards the Catholic Church. Just after his 14th birthday in 1941, Ratzinger was conscripted into the Hitler Youth (as of December 1939 membership was legally required for all 14-year-old German boys). According to his brother Georg, he was an unenthusiastic member and consistently refused to attend meetings.
In 1943 Ratzinger was conscripted into the German anti-aircraft corps and then trained in the German infantry. In 1945, as the Allies approached, he deserted back to his family's home. Ratzinger's unit had ceased to exist as American troops established their positions. He spent a few months in a POW camp but was soon released and reentered Saint Michael Seminary in Traunstein, along with his brother Georg.
They were both ordained in Freising on 29 June 1951 by Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber of Munich. A year thereafter, Ratzinger took a teaching position at the Higher School of Freising while working on his doctorate in theology, which he obtained in 1953. Ratzinger lectured on dogmatic and fundamental theology at the Higher School of Freising before going on to teach at Bonn, from 1959 to1963.
From 1962 to 1965 he made significant contributions to Vatican II as theological advisor of Cardinal Joseph Frings, Archbishop of Cologne. On 25 March 1977 Pope Paul VI named him Archbishop of Munich and Freising. Soon thereafter, Paul VI made him a Cardinal.
Like his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI is theologically conservative. His teachings and writings defend traditional Catholic doctrine and values. Although Pope Benedict XVI has been open to dialogue with other religious groups, and has sought to improve relations with them, he has generated some controversies.
Pope Benedict XVI's ascension to the Papacy was met with mixed feelings amongst the Jewish community. It was welcomed by the Anti-Defamation League, which noted "his great sensitivity to Jewish history and the Holocaust." However, the United Kingdom's Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks was more reserved, stating that he hoped that Pope Benedict XVI would "continue along the path of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II in working to enhance relations with the Jewish people and the State of Israel." The Foreign Minister of Israel similarly offered tentative praise, although he believed that "this Pope, considering his historical experience, will be especially committed to an uncompromising fight against anti-Semitism."