Today, December 31, 2022 Pope Benedict XVI passed away.
He was elected as the 265th pope on April 19, 2005. During his reign he helped bring about an end to the centuries-old tradition of Catholicism by ending mandatory celibacy for priests in Western Europe. He also worked on bringing together Christians and Muslims through dialogues between religions. He was the first pope from Germany, and the first Italian-born pontiff in over a century. Benedict was an intellectual and a prolific writer, who served as Cardinal Josef Ratzinger before being elected pope. His influence on the Church was immense.
Pope Benedict XVI reigned as pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013. He abdicated in 2013 and became the first pontiff to step down since 1415. The German-born Benedict led the 1.3 billion-strong Roman Catholic Church for eight years. He was very influential in the church's revival of traditional values and a champion of global Catholic charities who defended marriage and life from conception.
At the time he was elected, there were concerns that Pope Benedict XVI did not have the pastoral skills or public image to attract people back to the church. But he had already lived and studied in many different countries around the world, including Africa and Japan. He had been a member of the Vatican's Secretariat of State under Pope John Paul II, and was responsible for travelling extensively on behalf of the Vatican. So Benedict was no newcomer to world diplomacy in 2008 when he was elected pope; rather, he had considerable experience at handling it effectively.
Thank you Pope benedict XVI, you will be always in our hearts.