Benedict XVI was born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger on April 16, 1927, in Marktl am Inn, Germany. He was the 265th Pope, having been elected in April 2005 following the death of Pope John Paul II. At 14, Ratzinger was conscripted into the Hitler Youth, a legal requirement. In 1945, he deserted the German army and was taken prisoner by the U.S. Army. Ratzinger received a doctorate in theology at the University of Munich in 1953, having been ordained as a priest two years earlier. He is a Conservative who during his papacy advocated a return to fundamental Christian values to counter the increased secularisation of many developed countries. On February 11, 2013, he became the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to resign.
Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has emerged from his self-imposed silence inside the Vatican walls to publish a lengthy letter to one of Italy's best-known atheists. In it, he denies having covered up for sexually abusive priests and discusses everything from evolution to the figure of Jesus Christ.Thursday, 26 September, 2013, 4:31am 1 comment
Benedict XVI sprang a huge surprise when he stepped down from his papal office, the first pope in 600 years to do so; he no longer had the energy for his task, he said.7 Apr 2013 - 4:09pm
Pope Francis flew in to a papal residence near Rome yesterday for an unprecedented encounter with "pope emeritus" Benedict - the first time a pontiff has met his predecessor.24 Mar 2013 - 9:14am
In addition to being the first non-European pope for almost 13 centuries, the new pope's choice of name sets him apart - and establishes a link to the South China coast.15 Mar 2013 - 3:24am
Victims of clergy sexual abuse urged newly-elected Pope Francis to reform the Catholic Church and declare "zero tolerance" for sex crimes as his first official act.15 Mar 2013 - 3:17am
Pope Benedict is gone but far from forgotten as cardinals begin voting for candidates to replace him, with his personal secretary Georg Gänswein one of the last to leave the Sistine Chapel before the start of the conclave.14 Mar 2013 - 3:20am
India's Catholics may account for less than 2 per cent of the country's population but they will be Asia's most powerful voice in the election to choose a new pope.
Five of the nine Asian cardinals with the right to vote at the upcoming papal enclave hail from India, an overwhelmingly Hindu nation where Catholics are also outnumbered by Muslims and Sikhs.11 Mar 2013 - 6:00am
Cardinals have set Tuesday as the start date for the conclave to elect the next pope, signaling that they were wrapping up a week of discussions about the problems of the church and who best among them might lead it.9 Mar 2013 - 1:17am
With his sixth budget, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah failed to alleviate the problem of the wealth gap in Hong Kong. Tsang obviously feels it is important to be cautious, but there are times when you can be over-cautious.8 Mar 2013 - 3:51am
Clergy sex abuse victims have listed a "dirty dozen" potential papal candidates and urged the Roman Catholic Church to "get serious" about protecting children, helping victims and exposing corruption.8 Mar 2013 - 3:14am