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Pope Benedict XVI

December 28, 2022

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected head of the Catholic Church in 2005, and was Pope Benedict XVI until he retired in 2013. He stayed true to his conservative path throughout his papacy. He died on December 31, 2022.

Pope Benedict XVI arrives for the concluding Mass of the World Youth Day at the Marienfeld near Cologne in 2005
Image: EPA/PIER PAOLO CITO/dpa/dpaweb/picture-alliance

Born on April 16, 1927, Joseph Ratzinger decided early in his life to follow the path of the Catholic Church, and even as a boy expressed his wish to become a cardinal. During World War II, Ratzinger was required to join the Hitler Youth at the age of 16. Ratzinger later said he left the group as soon as organizers stopped requiring him to attend. As cardinal, he became increasingly conservative throughout his life. He was elected pope in 2005 and stepped aside in 2013, becoming pope emeritus alongside Pope Francis. Benedict died on December 31, 2022.

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Pope Francis delivers a speech during the weekly general audience at the Vatican on December 28, 2022.
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