Highlights from the life of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Dec 30, 2022, 12:33 PM | Updated: Dec 31, 2022, 1:03 pm
FILE - Joseph Ratzinger, the new archbishop of Munich and Freising, raises his arms to greet believ...

FILE - Joseph Ratzinger, the new archbishop of Munich and Freising, raises his arms to greet believers at his arrival in the Bavarian capital of Munich, Germany, on May 23, 1977. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday. He was 95. (AP Photo/Dieter Endlicher, File)

(AP Photo/Dieter Endlicher, File)

              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful during his final general audience in St.Peter's Square at the Vatican on Feb. 27, 2013. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95.  (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is pushed on a wheelchair onto a bus, to be with his ailing brother, in Regensburg, Germany, on June 18, 2020. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (Daniel Karmann/DPA via AP, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, center, is assisted by his former personal aide Rev. Georg Gaenswein, right, as he arrives in St. Peter's Square to attend a canonization Mass for two pontiffs, John XXIII and John Paul II, led by Pope Francis, at the Vatican on April 27, 2014. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)
            
              FILE - A helicopter carrying Pope Benedict XVI flies over St. Peter's Basilica as it leaves the Vatican for Castel Gandolfo on Feb. 28, 2013. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95.  (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, Files)
            
              FILE - This Feb. 11, 2013, file photo shows the Latin text that Pope Benedict XVI read during a meeting with Vatican cardinals where he announced his resignation, shown to journalists at the Vatican press hall during a press conference by Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)
            
              FILE - Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi reads from "Code of the Canon Law" during a meeting with journalists at the Vatican on Feb. 11, 2013, after Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would resign. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)
            
              FILE - People crowd St. Peter's Square during the beatification ceremony of Pope John Paul II lead by Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on May 1, 2011. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing as he is driven past a picture of late John Paul II during his beatification ceremony in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on May 1, 2011. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI kneels in prayer in front of the casket of late Pope John Paul II, laid out in state at the Altar of the Confession during the beatification ceremony of John Paul II lead by Benedict XVI, inside St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on May 1, 2011. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI walks with a cross as he celebrates a beatification mass for Cardinal John Henry Newman, pictured on a giant screen at left, in Birmingham, England, on Sept. 19, 2010. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)
            
              FILE - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Pope Benedict XVI inspect an honor guard of the Royal Company of Archers and the Royal Regiment of Scotland Band as the Pope arrives at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Sept. 16, 2010. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, Pool, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI, right, meets with Britain's Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, at Lambeth Palace in London on Sept. 17, 2010. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95.  (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI, followed by his personal aide Rev. Georg Gaenswein, has his right wrist in a cast after a late-night fall at a summer vacation home, Les Combes d'Introd, near Aosta, northern Italy, on July 29, 2009. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI acknowledges guests during a ceremony for victims' families, survivors, and first responders from the World Trade Center attacks during a visit to ground zero in New York, on April 20, 2008. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95.  (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, Pool, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI lays a wreath during a ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem on May 11, 2009. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI, center, flanked by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarciso Bertone, left, and spokesman father Federico Lombardi, greets the media at the end of a press conference held on the aircraft on his way to Yaounde, Cameroon on March 17, 2009. Benedict told reporters that condoms are not the solution to AIDS and can make problem worse, prompting widespread criticism. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI puts a candle in front of the death wall at the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz in Oswiecim near Krakow, Poland, on May 28, 2006. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI, left, prays during a Mass in St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney, Australia, on July 19, 2008. Benedict apologized to victims of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic clergy in Australia, describing their acts as "evil" and a grave betrayal of trust that has brought great shame on the church. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI prays as New York Cardinal Edward Egan, left, looks on during a ceremony for victims' families, survivors, and first responders from the World Trade Center attacks during a visit to ground zero in New York on April 20, 2008. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, Pool, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI celebrates the Corpus Domini Mass outside St. John at The Lateran Basilica to mark the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, in Rome, on June 7, 2007. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI greets the faithful during an audience at the Vatican on June 30, 2007, as he invited all Roman Catholics in China to unite under his jurisdiction and urged Beijing to restore diplomatic ties and permit religious freedom. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)
            
              FILE - A nun attends the presentation of the Italian edition of Pope Benedict XVI's first book as pope, entitled "Jesus of Nazareth", at the Vatican on April 13, 2007. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI, center, flanked by Archbishop Piero Marini, master of ceremonies for liturgical celebrations, right, and an unidentified prelate, waves at the end of his 80th birthday Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on April 15, 2007. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI prays in front of the monument for the victims of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Oswiecim, Poland, on May 28, 2006. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)
            
              FILE - Italian cardinal Renato Martino shows the first encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI, entitled "God is Love," during a press conference at the Vatican's press hall on Jan. 25, 2006. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, Pool, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI reads his message on his first encyclical as he presides at Vesper mass inside St. Paul's Basilica at the Vatican on Jan. 25, 2006. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI arrives for the concluding Mass of World Youth Day at the Marienfeld near Cologne, Germany, on Aug. 21, 2005. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito, Pool, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI receives the pallium as he celebrates his installment Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on April 24, 2005. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI, center, holds a cross as he celebrates his installment Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on April 24, 2005. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI, flanked by Monsignor Francesco Camaldo, left, and Bishop Piero Marini, greets the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican soon after his election on April 19, 2005. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis, File)
            
              FILE - Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger blesses the coffin containing the body of Pope John Paul II during the funeral mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on April 8, 2005. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)
            
              FILE - Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger bids farewell to Bavarian believers, with the towers of Munich's cathedral in the background, on Feb. 28, 1982, before leaving to head the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican after being nominated by John Paul II. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Dieter Endlicher, File)
            
              FILE - From left, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, of Munich, Cardinal Giovanni Benelli, and Cardinal Bernardin Gantin from Benin, smile shortly after being installed as new cardinals by Pope Paul VI during a consistory at the Vatican on June 27, 1977. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday. He was 95. (AP Photo, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Paul VI, left, places the Cardinal ring on the finger of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger of Munich, Germany, whom he elevated to Cardinal, on June 27, 1977. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday. He was 95. (AP Photo/Pool, File)
            
              FILE - Newly nominated Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Joseph Ratzinger, right, walks with bishop Ernst Tewes in front of the cathedral at Freising, Germany, on March 31, 1977. Tewes consecrated Ratzinger on the Saturday of Pentecost. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday. He was 95. (AP Photo/Dieter Endlicher, File)
            
              FILE - This mid-1970s file photo shows Joseph Ratzinger, the archbishop of Munich and Freising, who is to be elevated to cardinal by Pope Paul VI. Ratzinger was elected Pope on April 19, 2005, and chose Benedict XVI as his papal name. Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, he would resign on Feb. 28 because he is simply too old to carry on. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday. He was 95. (AP Photo, File)
            
              FILE - Priest Joseph Ratzinger prays during an open air Mass in Ruhpolding, southern Germany, in 1952. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday. He was 95. (dpa via AP, File)
            
              FILE - Joseph Ratzinger, the new archbishop of Munich and Freising, raises his arms to greet believers at his arrival in the Bavarian capital of Munich, Germany, on May 23, 1977. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday. He was 95. (AP Photo/Dieter Endlicher, File)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died. Here are highlights from his life.

April 16, 1927: Born Joseph Alois Ratzinger in Marktl am Inn, Germany, youngest of three children to Joseph and Maria Ratzinger.

1943-1945: Assistant in Germany’s anti-aircraft defense and infantry soldier; imprisoned in 1945 in American POW camp in Neu-Ulm.

June 29, 1951: Ordained along with brother Georg Ratzinger in Freising.

1969-1977: Professor at University of Regensburg.

March 25, 1977: Named archbishop of Munich and Freising.

June 27, 1977: Made a cardinal by Pope Paul VI.

Nov. 25, 1981: Named prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by Pope John Paul II; takes up post in March 1982.

April 2, 2005: Pope John Paul II dies.

April 8, 2005: As dean of the College of Cardinals, Ratzinger presides over John Paul’s funeral.

April 19, 2005: Elected 265th pope in one of the fastest conclaves in history. Choosing name Benedict XVI, he says he is merely a “simple, humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord.”

April 24, 2005: Installed as pope with Mass.

Aug. 18-21, 2005: First foreign trip, to World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany.

Sept. 24, 2005: Meets with dissident theologian Hans Kung at papal summer residence.

Dec. 25, 2005: First encyclical “God is Love” signed. Released Jan. 25, 2006.

May 28, 2006: During trip to Poland, visits Auschwitz concentration camp.

Sept. 12, 2006: During visit to Germany, delivers speech at University of Regensburg that enrages Muslims; quoting a Byzantine emperor who characterized some of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad as “evil and inhuman,” particularly “his command to spread by the sword the faith.”

April 16, 2007: First volume of “Jesus of Nazareth” completed on his 80th birthday. Released April 13.

May 27, 2007: Signs letter to China’s Catholics, urging them to unite under his authority. Published June 30.

July 7, 2007: Removes restrictions on celebrating the old Latin Mass in major gesture to traditional Catholics.

April 20, 2008: During visit to United States, prays for victims of Sept. 11, 2001 attacks at ground zero.

July 19, 2008: During visit to Australia for World Youth Day, meets with victims of priestly sex abuse and during a Mass apologizes for their suffering.

Jan. 21, 2009: Lifts excommunication of Holocaust-denying Bishop Richard Williamson and three other ultra-traditionalist bishops of Society of St. Pius X, igniting outrage. Decree released Jan. 24.

March 10, 2009: Acknowledges Vatican mistakes in Williamson affair, says Vatican must make better use of Internet to prevent future controversies. Letter released March 12.

March 17, 2009: En route to Cameroon, tells reporters aboard papal plane that condoms are not the solution to AIDS and can make problem worse, prompting widespread criticism.

May 11, 2009: During visit to the Holy Land, lays wreath at Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem, says Holocaust victims “lost their lives but they will never lose their names.”

June 29, 2009: Third encyclical “Charity in Truth” signed. Released July 7, 2009.

July 17, 2009: Breaks right wrist in late-night fall at summer vacation home.

Oct. 20, 2009: Vatican announces pope is making it easier for Anglicans to convert en masse to Catholicism.

March 19, 2010: Rebukes Irish bishops for “grave errors of judgment” in handling clerical sex abuse but makes no mention of Vatican responsibility in letter to Irish faithful. Released March 20.

May 1, 2010: Orders major overhaul of Legion of Christ after Vatican investigation determines founder was a fraud.

Sept. 16-19, 2010: During first state visit by a pope to Britain, meets with Queen Elizabeth II, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and beatifies Anglican convert John Henry Newman.

Nov. 20, 2010: Revises controversial condom-AIDS comments in book and says male prostitutes who use condoms may be taking a first step toward a more responsible sexuality.

March 2, 2011: Issues sweeping exoneration of Jews for the death of Christ in “Jesus of Nazareth-Part II.” Book released March 10.

May 1, 2011: Beatifies John Paul II before 1.5 million people.

June 28, 2011: Tweets for the first time, announcing launch of Vatican news information portal.

Oct. 6, 2012 Pope’s former butler is convicted on charges he stole the pontiff’s private letters and leaked them to a journalist.

Feb. 11, 2013: Reveals in Latin that he is stepping down Feb. 28 during a meeting of Vatican cardinals, surprising even his closest collaborators.

Feb. 28, 2013: Departs Vatican City in a helicopter bound for Castel Gandolfo, where he begins his final journey as a “simple pilgrim.”

March 23, 2013: Receives Pope Francis for lunch at Castel Gandolfo; the two men pray side-by-side and Francis insists “We are brothers.”

April 28, 2014: Joins Francis on altar to canonize St. John Paul II and St. John XXIII, the first time a reigning and retired pope celebrate Mass together.

April 11, 2019: In an essay, blames the clergy sex abuse scandal on the sexual revolution of the 1960s and an absence of God.

January, 2020: Contributes to a book reaffirming celibacy for priests at a time when Francis was considering an exception, sparking calls for rules governing future “popes emeritus.”

June 18, 2020: Travels to Germany to visit his ailing brother, the Rev. Georg Ratzinger, who dies two weeks later, on July 1.

July 16, 2021: Has his signature relaxation of restrictions on celebration of old Latin Mass reversed by Pope Francis.

Jan. 21, 2022: Is faulted for his handling of four sex abuse cases while bishop of Munich in the 1970s and 1980s by independent report commissioned by German church.

Feb. 8, 2022: Asks forgiveness for any “grievous faults” in handling of Munich priests, but denies personal or specific wrongdoing.

Dec. 28, 2022: Pope Francis announces Benedict is “very ill,” asks for special prayers and visits him at his home.

Dec. 31, 2022: Benedict dies at 9:34 a.m. at his home in the Vatican Gardens at age 95.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Highlights from the life of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI