He was briefly an associate of the Hitler Youth in his early teens, after membership became compulsory in 1941. He turned to theological studies following the war, helping found the powerful journal Communio. He was elevated to the papacy in 2005. In February 2013, Benedict XVI stepped down from his position as pope.
His dad was a cop and his mother a hotel cook (before she married). His family moved often among hamlets in rural Bavaria, a greatly Roman Catholic area in Germany, as the Nazis reinforced their stranglehold on Germany in the 1930s. His dad proved to be a driven anti-Nazi, Ratzinger wrote. “Unemployment was rife,” he wrote in his memoir, Landmarks. “War reparations (from World War I) counted heavily on the German market. Conflicts one of the political parties set people against one another.” As a defense from the Nazi regime, Ratzinger threw himself to the Roman Catholic Church, “a citadel of truth and righteousness from the domain of atheism and deceit,” he wrote. Ratzinger entered preparatory seminary in 1939. However he cannot prevent the facts of the day. Ratzinger was briefly an associate of the Hitler Youth in his early teens, after membership became compulsory in 1941.
In 1943, he and fellow seminarians were drafted to the anti aircraft corps. He’s said his unit was attacked by Allied forces that year, however he failed to take part in that conflict because a finger illness had kept him from learning how to shoot. After of annually in the antiaircraft unit, Ratzinger was drafted to the regular military. Ratzinger was sent home and after that called up again before leaving in late April 1945. He was caught by American soldiers and held as a prisoner of war for a number of months.
Ratzinger returned to the seminary in the University of Munich in the autumn of 1945 and was ordained a priest in 1951. A couple of years after, he earned his doctorate in the University of Munich. He earned his teaching licentiate in 1957 and became a professor of Freising College in 1958, educating dogma and fundamental theology. Ratzinger became a professor in the University of Bonn in 1959. Afterwards, he moved to the University of Muenster (1963-66) and took a chair in dogmatic theology in the University of Tbingen. Alienated by the student demonstrations at Tbingen, he returned to Bavaria, to the University of Regensburg.
He was regarded as a reformer in this period. In 1972, Ratzinger helped found the theological journal Communio, which became among the main journals of Catholic thought. Ratzinger defended and reaffirmed Catholic doctrine, including teaching on issues like birth control, homosexuality and inter-religious dialogue.
Known for his firm views on Catholicism, he’s sought a more inclusive image as pope. In 2008, Benedict made his first visit as pope to America, where he spoke out against clerical sexual abuse and presented an address in the United Nations. The exact same year, to cultivate relationships and understanding between faiths, Benedict addressed the primary Catholic-Muslim Forum, a three-day summit of Catholic theologians and Islamic scholars.
In 2010, allegations of sexual as well as physical abuse by parish priests as well as in parochial schools especially in Germany, Ireland and the United States—brought Benedict, and his part in the cases in Germany in particular, under close media scrutiny. In February 2013, in the age of 85, Pope Benedict XVI declared he would be stepping down on February 28, 2013 becoming the first pope in centuries to step down from his place.
According to a number of media reports, Benedict’s conclusion centered on his old age, and physical and mental weakness. In a single statement, the pope described, “I ‘ve come to the conviction that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are not satisfied to an acceptable exercise.” Because of this, and well aware of the seriousness of the act, with complete independence, I declare that I renounce the ministry of bishop of Rome, successor of St. Peter.” Benedict served his final day as pope on February 28, 2013. Traveling by chopper, he departed the Vatican for the summer papal residence in Castel Gandolfo, Italy. Benedict remained there while renovations were made toa convent,Mater Ecclesiae, in the southwest corner of Vatican City, which will be where he now lives.
Among Benedict’s closing functions as a pope was to send a message to the faithful via his Twitter page. “Thank you for the love and support. May you constantly go through the happiness that comes from placing Christ in the middle of your lives.” He’ll remain known as Benedict XVI in his retirement and continues to be granted the title of pope emeritus. Though Benedict hasno further administrative or official responsibilities and seldom appears in public. The crowd reacted with cheers and applause.