Date of Birth : April 16, 1927, in Germany
Ordained priest : June 29, 1951
Consecrated Abp of Munich and Freising : March 25, 1977
Episcopal Ordination : May 28, 1977
Created Cardinal : June 27, 1977
Elected Pope : April 19, 2005
Resigned : 28 February, 2013
PAPAL FACTS :
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is elected as Pope on Apr. 19, 2005 - the new head of the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics.
Joseph Ratzinger was born April 16, 1927, in Germany. He was ordained a priest June 29, 1951.
He spent his adolescent years in Traunstein, and was called into the auxiliary anti-aircraft service in the last months of World War II. 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. 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, then in Bonn from 1959 to 1969, Muenster from 1963 to 1966, Tuebinga from 1966 to 1969.
From 1969, he was a professor of dogmatic theology and of the history of dogma at the University of Regensburg and vice president of the same university.
In 1962 he became a consultor at the Second Vatican Council. In March 1977, Pope Paul VI elected him archbishop of Munich and Freising and on May 28, 1977, he was ordained a bishop -- the first diocesan priest after 80 years to take over the pastoral ministry of this large Bavarian diocese.
He was elevated to cardinal in June 1977. In November 1981 he was named prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and president of the Biblical Commission and of the Pontifical International Theological Commission.
He was elected vice dean of the College of Cardinals in November 1998. In November 2002, the Pope approved his election, by the order of cardinal bishops, as dean of the College of Cardinals.
Cardinal Ratzinger was president of the Commission for the Preparation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and after six years of work he presented the new catechism to the Holy Father in 1992.
A towering intellectual, a deeply holy man, a kind hearted and strong in his beliefs, he has been one of the closest confidants of Pope John Paul II.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected as Pope on April 19, 2005. He resigned on 28 February 2013