Timeline of Pope Benedict XVI (2005-2013)

In light of Pope Benedict XVI announced resignation; below is a timeline of significant events throughout His Papal reign.


April 19th, 2005 - Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, is elected as Pope at the age of 78. He is the oldest elected Pope since Pope Clement XII (1730-1740) Ratzinger succeeds Pope John Paul II. Ratzinger chooses the Pontifical name of Benedict XVI. Before his election to the Papalcy, Ratzinger was at one point quoted as saying

“At a certain point, I prayed to God ‘please don’t do this to me’…Evidently, this time He didn’t listen to me.”

May 9th, 2005 - In an unprecedented decision, Pope Benedict XVI begins the beatification process of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II. Generally, the beatification process cannot begin until 5 years have passed from the death of the candidate. The waiting period is waived citing “exceptional circumstances”.

March, 2006 - Pope Benedict begins the downsizing of the Roman Curia (Administrative Apparatus of the Holy See) by merging several councils.

May 28th, 2005 - The Pope visits former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp during a visit to Poland. As a German during World War II, Ratzinger was forced to be a member of the Hitler youth at the age of 14.

July 7th, 2007 - Pope Benedict issues the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, a Pontifical order declaring that “upon the request of the faithful” the Tridentine Mass (Latin Mass) would be more easily permitted.

April 15th, 2008 - Nearly 3 years into His reign, Pope Benedict visits the United States of America for the first time. He lands at Andrews Air Force Base greeted by President George W. Bush and First Lady, Laura Bush. His visit to the United States extended for 5 days in which he met with President Bush, addressed the United Nations in New York City, held mass at the Nationals Park in D.C. as well as Yankee Stadium, and visited Ground Zero.

Andrews Air Force Base arrival of Pope Benedict XVI

September 17th, 2010 - In a visit to Great Britain, Pope Benedict XVI admits that the Catholic Church did not act decisively or quickly enough to remove priests who molested children. It was his strongest comments to date on the worldwide sex abuse crisis shaking his church.

October 7th, 2012 - Pope Benedict XVI names Hildegard of Bingen and John of Avila, Doctors of the Church. The title, is given to whom the Pope recognizes as influential individuals with regard to Church Doctrine and theology.

February 11th, 2013 - The Vatican confirms Pope Benedict XVI will resign as Pope on February 28th, 2013.

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