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Career

Roman Catholic Church
2013–present
Pope Emeritus The Holy See, Pontificate of Francis, Vatican City State
1951–present
One of seven, the Sacrament of Holy Orders is one in which men take vows for life to continue the work of Jesus Christ's priesthood, which He bestowed upon His Apostles Ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Faulhaber at the cathedral in Freising, Germany
20052013
Supreme Pontiff, Bishop of Rome, and Sovereign of the Vatican City State The Holy See - Pontificate of Benedict XVI (his own), Vatican City State
20022005
Dean, College of Cardinals, and conferred the suburbicarian see of Ostia, added to that of Velletri-Segni The Holy See - Pontificate of John Paul II, Vatican City State
19932005
Cardinal-Bishop of Velletri-Segni The Holy See - Pontificate of John Paul II, Vatican City State
19812005
President, International Theological Commission The Holy See - Pontificate of John Paul II, Vatican City State
19812005
President, Pontifical Biblical Commission The Holy See - Pontificate of John Paul II, Vatican City State
19812005
Prefect, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith The Holy See - Pontificate of John Paul II, Vatican City State
19982002
Vice-Dean, College of Cardinals The Holy See - Pontificate of John Paul II, Vatican City State
1999
Special Papal Envoy, The Celebration of the XII Centenary of the founding of the Diocese of Paderborn, Germany The Holy See - Pontificate of John Paul II, Vatican City State
19771993
Elevated to Cardinal, with the titular church Santa Maria Consolatrice al Tiburtino Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, Pontificate of Paul VI, Munich, Bavaria
19861992
President, Preparatory Commission for the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which created a new Catechism for the Pope's imprimaur The Holy See - Pontificate of John Paul II, Vatican City State
1983
Delegate-President, VI Ordinary General Assembly on "Reconciliation and Penance in the mission of the Church" The Holy See - Pontificate of John Paul II, Vatican City State
19771982
Archbishop of Munich and Freising Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, Pontificate of Paul VI, Munich, Bavaria
1980
Relator, V Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on "Mission of the Christian Family in the world of today" The Holy See - Pontificate of John Paul II, Vatican City State
1978
Special Papal Envoy, III International Maiological Congress, Guayaquil, Ecuador The Holy See - Pontificate of John Paul I, Vatican City State
19621965
Chief theological expert to Cardinal Joseph Frings, Archbishop of Cologne Second Vatican Council, Pontificate of John XXIII
University of Regensburg
19691977
Professor of dogmatic theology and of the history of dogma Faculty of Catholic Theology, Regensburg, Germany
Dean Faculty of Catholic Theology, Regensburg, Germany
Vice-President, University of Regensburg Regensburg, Germany
University of Münster
19631969
Professor of theology Münster, Germany
University of Tübingen
19631969
Second chair in dogmatic theology Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
University of Bonn
19591963
Professor of theology Bonn, Germany
Higher School of Philosophy and Theology
1952
Professor of dogmatic and fundamental theology Freising, Bavaria, Germany

Professional memberships

Roman Curia Council of the Secretariat of State for Relations with States Congregation for the Oriental Churches Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments Congregation for Bishops Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples Congregation for Catholic Education Congregation for the Clergy Congregation for the Causes of the Saints Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity Pontifical Council for Culture Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature Pontifical Commission for Latin America Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" Pontifical Commission for the Authentic Interpretation of the Code of Canon Law Pontifical Commission for the Revision of the Code of Canon Law of the Oriental Churches
19691980
International Theological Commission of the Holy See Vatican City State

Accomplishments of note

2012
Author - Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives Third and final volume of the author's three-volume meditation on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Details how the stories of Jesus' infancy and childhood are as relevant today as they were two thousand years ago. with Published November 21, 2012 - Bloomsbury Publishing - ISBN 978-1-40819-454-6 Published November 21, 2012 - Bloomsbury Publishing - ISBN 978-1-40819-454-6
2011
Author - Jesus of Nazareth, Part Two: Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection Provides a detailed analysis of Jesus Christ's final week in Jerusalem, examining the political, religious and scholarly aspects of Jesus' life, teaching, death and resurrection. The first book authored by Benedict since his ascension to the papacy. Published March 15, 2011 - Ignatius Press - ISBN-978-1-58617-500-9
2009
Contributor - Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church Provides a clear synopsis of the essential contents of the faith as promulgated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church in 598 questions and answers.      with Head of a 12-member commission responsible for drafting the Catechism of the Catholic Church Published April 29, 2009 - St Paul's Publication - ISBN 978-1-92103-213-4
2008
Author - Saved in Hope: Spe Salvi Pope Benedict XVI's second encyclical Published February 2008 - Ignatius Press - ISBN 978-1-58617-251-0
2008
Author - Church, Ecumenism, and Politics: New Endeavors in Ecclesiology Essays discuss the structure of the Catholic Church, papal primacy, the role of bishops, ecumenism, and the relation between faith and politics. Published 2008 - Ignatius Press - ISBN 978-1-58617-217-6
2007
Author - The Dialectics of Secularization: On Reason and Religion Two of the worlds great contemporary thinkers--Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, and Jrgen Habermas--discuss and debate aspects of secularization, and the role of reason and religion in a free society. with Jürgen Habermas (philosopher and Neo-Marxist social critic  Published January 10, 2007 - Ignatius Press - ISBN 978-1-58617-166-7
2007
Author - Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration, Volume 1 First volume in Pope Benedict XVI's planned three-volume meditation on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The first book authored by Benedict since his ascension to the papacy.      with Translated by Adrian J. Walker Published May 15, 2007 - Gardners Books - ISBN 978-0-74759-278-5
2006
Author - Christianity and the Crisis of Culture In this new work, written before his election to the Papal throne, Joseph Ratzinger addresses the "crisis of culture" that is evident in Europe today, and the serious problems that have resulted. Published: May 30, 2006 - Ignatius Press - ISBN 978-1-58617-142-1
2006
Author - Values in a Time of Upheaval: Meeting the Challenges of the Future Passionately defends the role traditional Judeo-Christian values should play in a pluralistic society and a multicultural world. Published: September 1, 2006 - Ignatius Press - ISBN 978-1-58617-140-7
2006
Author - Values in a Time of Upheaval: Meeting the Challenges of the Future Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) brings together his most important views on the crucial question of where we find our values and how we act to put them into practice in our personal and private lives.     Published September 1, 2006 - Ignatius Press - ISBN 978-1-58617-140-7
2006
Author - Images of Hope: meditations on major feasts Masterfully weaves together Scripture, history, literature and theology as he reflects on major feasts of the liturgical calendar. Published 2006 - Ignatius Press - ISBN 978-0-89870-964-3
2006
Author - What It Means to Be a Christian: Three Sermons Presents three sermons on how to live as a Christian in the modern secular world, discussing the true meaning of love for God and for one's neighbor and the importance of faith, both for oneself and as a witness to others. with Henry Taylor (Translator) The book focuses on the state of the Roman Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council.  Published June 20, 2006 - Ignatius Press - ISBN 978-1-58617-133-9  
2005
Author - On the Way to Jesus Christ A series of meditations that Pope Benedict XVI wrote while he was Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith. Published October 8, 2005 - Ignatius Press - ISBN 978-1-58617-124-7
2005
Author - Pilgrim Fellowship of Faith: The Church as Communion A collection of past writings of the newly-elected Pope on topics such as the ministry of priests, eucharistic theology, non-Christian religions, and the role of the Catholic Church in a secular world . with Stephan Otto Horn (Editor), Vinzenz Pfnur (Editor), Henry Taylor (Translator) Published May 1, 2005 - Ignatius Press - ISBN 978-0-89870-963-6
2005
Author - The Yes Of Jesus Christ: Exercises In Faith, Hope, And Love Shows us how to live guided by a definitive affirmation that God exists and a conscious acknowledgment that our efforts and goals only have meaning when contextualized by divine grace. Published June 1, 2005 -Crossroad Publications - ISBN 978-0-82452-374-9
2004
Aurthor -  Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions Discusses faith, religion, culture, freedom, and truth, with special emphasis on the Christian religion and how it relates to these and if it can continue to make an absolute claim as the true religion. Published 2004 - Ignatius Press - ISBN 978-1-58617-035-6
2003
Author -  God Is Near Us: The Eucharist, the Heart of Life Leads the reader into the heart of the Christian faith and its central mystery. Cardinal Ratzinger compellingly shows us the biblical, historical, and theological dimensions of the Eucharist. with Stephan Otto Hoen (Editor), Vinzenz Pfnur (Editor) Henry Taylor (Translator) Written by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) before his ascension to the papacy. Published June 1, 2003 - Ignatius Press - ISBN 978-0-89870-962-9
2000
Honorary Academic Pontifical Academy of Sciences
2000
Author - The Spirit of the Liturgy Considered by Ratzinger devotees as his greatest work on the Liturgy, this profound and beautifully written treatment of the "great prayer of the Church" will help readers rediscover the Liturgy. Written by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) before his ascension to the papacy. Published September 1, 2000 - Ignatius Press - ISBN 978-1-89870-578-2
1999
Author - Many Religions, One Covenant: Israel, the Church, and the World Spans the deep divides in modern Catholic scholarship to present a compelling biblical theology, modern in its concerns yet classical in its breadth. with Scott Hahn Published: September 1, 1999 - Ignatius Press - ISBN: 978-0-89870-753-3
1996
Author - A New Song for the Lord: Faith in Christ and Liturgy Today The theologian of the Vatican Council and prefector of the Congregation of the Faith in the Vatican makes accessible from different approaches the essential elements of a theology of worship. Published November 1, 1996 - Crossroad Publishing - ISBN 978-0-82451-536-2
1996
Author -  Called to Communion: Understanding the Church Today A book of wisdom and insight that explains how providential are the trials through which the Catholic Church is now passing Published: 1996 - Ignatius Press - ISBN 978-1-89870-578-2
1988
Author - Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life The study of the "eschaton", the times of the end, or "last things", such as the parousia, heaven, and hell. Focuses on the state of the Roman Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council. Published: 1988 - Catholic University of America Press - ISBN 978-0-8132-0633-2
1987
Author - The Ratzinger Report Consists of a series of interviews collected over several days given by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to the Italian journalist Vittorio Messori with Vittorio Messori Published: August 1, 1987 - Ignatius Press - ISBN 978-0-89870-080-0
1986
Author - Principles of Christian Morality A collection of essays by three giants of twentieth-century theology with  Heinz Schurmann (Author), Hans Urs von Balthasar (Author) Published June 1, 1986 - Ignatius Press - ISBN 978-0-89870-086-2
1982
Author -  RB 1980 The Rule of St. Benedict For fifteen centuries Benedictine monasticism has been governed by a Rule that is at once strong enough to instill order and yet flexible enough to have relevance fifteen hundred years later. Published June 1982 - Liturgical Press - ISBN 978-0-8146-1220-0
1972
Co-Founder Communio (Theological Journal - a quarterly review of Catholic theology and culture) with Hans Urs von Balthasar, Henri de Lubac and other important theologians Became one of the most important journals of Catholic thought

Community

Community honors and awards

Elementary school named in his honor Town of Aschau am Inn, Bavaria, Germany

Military service

19431944
Germany

Drafted into the Auxiliary Anti-Aircraft Corps

19441945
Austria

Drafted into the Austrian Legion

Nationality
German and Vatican citizenship (at birth: German)
Denomination
Roman Catholic
Hobbies
Plays the piano and has a preference for Mozart and Bach

Education

University
Herzogliches Georgianum (Theological seminary of the Ludwig Maximilians University - associated with the University of Munich) Munich, Germany Study of Philosophy and Theology 19461951
College
Higher School of Philosophy and Theology Freising, Germany Philosophy and Theology 19461951
Seminary
Saint Michael Seminary Traunstein, Germany First steps toward the priesthood 1939
Post-Doctoral
Independent Scholarship (under the direction of renowned professor of fundamental theology Gottlieb Söhngen) of fundamental theology Gottlieb Söhngen) Germany Habilitation ("right of teaching" a specific academic subject at universities for a lifetime) Theology 19531957 Dissertation: "The Theology of History in St Bonaventure"
Doctoral
University of Munich Munich, Germany Doctor of Theology (D.Th.) Theology 1953 Dissertation: "People and House of God in St Augustine’s Doctrine of the Church"
Native language
German
Other languages
Latin, Italian, French, English, Spanish, Portuguese; reads and understands Ancient Greek and Biblical Hebrew

Honorary Degrees

1984
College of St. Thomas St. Paul, Minnesota, USA "Honoris Causa" Doctorate
1986
Catholic University of Lima Lima, Peru "Honoris Causa" Doctorate
1987
Catholic University of Eichstätt Eichstätt, Bavaria, Germany "Honoris Causa" Doctorate
1988
Catholic University of Lublin Lublin, Poland "Honoris Causa" Doctorate
1988
University of Navarre Pamplona, Spain "Honoris Causa" Doctorate
1999
LUMSA (Libera Università Maria Santissima Assunta) Rome, Italy "Honoris Causa" Doctorate
2000
Faculty of Theology of the University of Wroclaw Wroclaw, Poland "Honoris Causa" Doctorate

Family

Vital statistics

Birth information
April 16, 1927
Gender
Male
Place of birth
Marktl am Inn, Diocese of Passau, Germany
Marital status
Never married

Parents

Father
Joseph RATZINGER Sr.
Mother
Maria (Peintner) Ratzinger

Ancestry

German