In the middle of February 2013, Pope Benedict XVI made an announcement that shook the Catholic world – he is resigning as Pope at the end of the month. It was the first resignation by a Pope in the last 600 years.
Pope Benedict XVI, was born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger on 16th April 1927 to Joseph Ratzinger Sr. and Maria Ratzinger as their third child. He is the ninth German Pope of the Catholic Church. A devout Christian, he was resentful of the Nazis, yet had no choice but to join Hitler Youth as mandated by the law. As a German soldier, he was taken prisoner of war and was released in 1945 after the war ended.
Elected by the Papal Enclave and appointed to lead the Flock on 19th April 2005, Pope Benedict XVI – known to be a hardliner – continued the policies of his predecessor, Pope St. John Paul II. A renowned theologian, Pope Benedict XVI also had concern for protection of the environment. A writer at heart, he wrote several books. Deus Caritas Est (God is Love) and Spe Salvi (Saved by Hope) are his well appreciated encyclicals. A polyglot, Pope Benedict XVI was fluent in Italian, French, English and Spanish apart from his native German. He also knew Portuguese, Latin, Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Greek.
Citing health issues, he retired from Papacy on 28th February 2013. He remained true to his principles till the end. After retirement, he lived at Mater Ecclesiae Monasterii (Mother of Church Monastery) established in 1990 by Pope St. John Paul II.
The faithful of the Guardian Angel Church are deeply saddened by the death of Pope Benedict XVI.
May his soul rest in peace.
Content courtesy: Newspaper reports and the German YouTube channel DW Documentary
Photographs courtesy: abc News, NBC News, Wikipedia, Al-Jazeera.