Pope Benedict XVI: The leader who started shaping the church for a new world

By: FPJ Web Desk | December 31, 2022

Benedict was the first German pope elected to head the Catholic church in 1,000 years when he succeeded John Paul II in April 2005

Then known as German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he became the 265th leader of the Roman Catholic Church, choosing the name Benedict XVI

His appointment came after he had headed the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 1982 to 2005

Benedict was also the first pope to retire in 600 years

Born Joseph Ratzinger in Germany, Benedict was 78 when in 2005 he became one of the oldest popes ever elected

For much of his papacy, the Catholic Church faced allegations, legal claims and official reports into decades of child abuse by priests

Earlier this year the former Pope acknowledged that errors had been made in the handling of abuse cases while he was archbishop of Munich between 1977 and 1982

He often described himself as a “Mozartian” and enjoyed playing the piano throughout his life

He continued to wear the white robes of the papacy but preferred simply to be known as "Father Benedict"

In his later years, Benedict grew increasingly frail as he dedicated his post-papacy life to prayer and meditation

The Lord wins in the end.— Benedict XVI were his last words on Twitter

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