Benedict XVI, reluctant pope who chose to retire, dies at 95


              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI attends a gathering with youths in St. Peter's square, at the Vatican, on Thursday, March 25, 2010. He was the reluctant pope, a shy bookworm who preferred solitary walks in the Alps and Mozart piano concertos to the public glare and majesty of Vatican pageantry. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI wears a "saturno hat", inspired by the ringed planet Saturn, to shield himself from the sun as he is driven through the crowd of faithful prior to his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, on Sept. 6, 2006. He was the reluctant pope, a shy bookworm who preferred solitary walks in the Alps and Mozart piano concertos to the public glare and majesty of Vatican pageantry. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Francis, right, salutes Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, at the end of a consistory inside the St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, on Feb. 22, 2014. He was the reluctant pope, a shy bookworm who preferred solitary walks in the Alps and Mozart piano concertos to the public glare and majesty of Vatican pageantry. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI walks away after addressing the crowd from a window of his summer residence Castel Gandolfo, Italy, on Feb. 28, 2013. He was the reluctant pope, a shy bookworm who preferred solitary walks in the Alps and Mozart piano concertos to the public glare and majesty of Vatican pageantry. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI, flanked by his personal secretary Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, as he turns away from a window overlooking St. Peter's Square after delivering his last Angelus noon prayer, at the Vatican, on Feb. 24, 2013. He was the reluctant pope, a shy bookworm who preferred solitary walks in the Alps and Mozart piano concertos to the public glare and majesty of Vatican pageantry. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI opens his arms during his final general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, on Feb. 27, 2013, before retiring. He was the reluctant pope, a shy bookworm who preferred solitary walks in the Alps and Mozart piano concertos to the public glare and majesty of Vatican pageantry. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI is protected from the rain by an umbrella in Cuatro Vientos, near to Madrid, Spain, on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011. He was the reluctant pope, a shy bookworm who preferred solitary walks in the Alps and Mozart piano concertos to the public glare and majesty of Vatican pageantry. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos, File)
            
              FILE - Lightning illuminates the sky as pilgrims look at a screen showing Pope Benedict XVI in Cuatro Vientos, near to Madrid, Spain, on Aug. 20, 2011. He was the reluctant pope, a shy bookworm who preferred solitary walks in the Alps and Mozart piano concertos to the public glare and majesty of Vatican pageantry. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI flanked by personal secretary Archbishop Georg Gaenswein during a Mass to mark the 900th anniversary of the Order of the Knights of Malta in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, on Feb. 9, 2013. He was the reluctant pope, a shy bookworm who preferred solitary walks in the Alps and Mozart piano concertos to the public glare and majesty of Vatican pageantry. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95.(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)
            
              FILE - Pope John Paul II gives his blessing to late Rev. Marcial Maciel, founder of Legionaries of Christ, during a special audience the pontiff granted to about four thousand participants of the Regnum Christi movement, at the Vatican, Nov. 30, 2004. Benedict reversed his beloved predecessor by taking action against the 20th century’s most notorious pedophile priest, the Rev. Marcial Maciel. Benedict took over Maciel’s Legionaries of Christ, a conservative religious order held up as a model of orthodoxy by John Paul, after it was revealed that Maciel sexually abused seminarians and fathered at least three children. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Plinio Lepri, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI, flanked by his butler Paolo Gabiele, delivers his blessing as he arrives at St. Peter's square at the Vatican for a general audience, on Wednesday, May, 23, 2012. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI waves from his pope mobile as it rains, after the traditional prayer to celebrate the Immaculate Conception, in Rome, on Dec. 8, 2009. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito, File)
            
              FILE - Rev. Georg Gaenswein, back, helps put a cap on Pope Benedict XVI's head at the end of the pontiff's weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, on Oct. 25, 2006. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI looks at a book presented to him by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon during a private audience at the Vatican, on Oct. 10, 2009.  When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito, Pool, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI waves after arriving at Istanbul's airport, Turkey, on Nov. 29, 2006. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI listens to the German national anthem after his arrival at an airport near Cologne, western Germany, on Aug. 18, 2005. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/ Thomas Kienzle, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI blesses faithful as he arrives at St. Paul's Basilica, in Rome, on Jan. 25, 2006, to preside over a Vespers Mass. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)
            
              FILE - A picture of Pope Benedict XVI is seen between the pages of a hymn book during Mass at a church in Beijing, China, on Dec. 25, 2005. As soon as he was elected, Benedict moved decisively on a few select fronts: He made clear early on that he wanted to re-establish diplomatic relations with China that were severed in 1951. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo, File)
            
              FILE - Then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, 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. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful as he arrives to celebrate Vespers at the Basilica in Yaounde, Cameroon, on March 18, 2009. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI waves during the farewell ceremony at Cologne airport, Germany, on Aug. 21, 2005.  Pope Benedict XVI was on his first foreign trip as pontiff and took part in the World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Eckehard Schulz, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI celebrates the concluding Mass of the World Youth Day with about one million pilgrims at the Marienfeld, southwest of Cologne, Germany, on Aug. 21, 2005. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, on April 19, 2005, soon after his election. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, on Tuesday, April 19, 2005, soon after his election. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI looks at the Centro Cadore lake in Domegge, Lorenzago di Cadore, near Belluno, Italy, on July 23, 2007. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Alessia Giuliani/Pool, File)
            
              FILE - German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and of the International Theological Commission, at the Vatican, on May 30, 1991. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/CL, File)
            
              FILE - German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, arrives at the Foreign Press Club in Rome, on March 16 1987, to present the book 'Toward the Third Millennium under the Action of the Holy Spirit.' When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Giulio Broglio, File)
            
              FILE - The archbishop of Munich and Freising, Joseph Ratzinger, on June 22, 1977, in Munich, Germany, who is to be elevated to cardinal by Pope Paul VI on Monday, June 27, 1977. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95.  (AP Photo, File)
            
              FILE - Pope Benedict XVI attends his weekly general audience in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2005. He was the reluctant pope, a shy bookworm who preferred solitary walks in the Alps and Mozart piano concertos to the public glare and majesty of Vatican pageantry. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI and was thrust into the footsteps of his beloved and charismatic predecessor, he said he felt a guillotine had come down on him. The Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022 that Benedict, the former Joseph Ratzinger, had died at age 95. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis, File)
Benedict XVI, reluctant pope who chose to retire, dies at 95