Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was elected as pontiff in April 2005, on the age of 78.
Given his age, he was broadly seen as a caretaker pope, a bridge to the subsequent era after John Paul II’s lengthy tenure.
A strict conservative: As an aide to John Paul II, Benedict served as a strict enforcer of his conservative social doctrine. He continued to espouse a conservative doctrine after taking workplace himself and regularly warned of a “dictatorship of relativism.”
In his tone, demeanor and actions, Benedict was notably completely different from his predecessor — the place John Paul wowed crowds together with his mastery of quite a few languages, Benedict’s affect was felt by way of his erudite writings and theological rigor.
As Pope, Benedict usually championed a back-to-basics method. Three of his encyclicals – letters from the Pope to Catholics world wide – have been based mostly on the theological virtues of religion, hope and love.
Church intercourse abuse disaster: Benedict turned Pope on the peak of the worldwide sexual abuse scandal involving Catholic clergymen.
In 2008, he acknowledged “the disgrace which we have now all felt” over abuse reviews, and in 2010 issued new guidelines aimed toward stopping abusive clergymen who he mentioned “disfigured their ministry.”
Some imagine he did extra to sort out the abuse than any of his papal predecessors, whereas others noticed his response as woefully insufficient.
Benedict got here below renewed criticism in 2021 over his time as archbishop of Munich and Freising, following the publication of a Church-commissioned report into abuse by Catholic clergy there. The report discovered that whereas within the submit, between 1977 and 1982, he had been knowledgeable of 4 instances of sexual abuse involving minors — together with two that had occurred throughout his time in workplace — however didn’t act.
Different controversies: The abuse disaster was considered one of a string of controversies to dominate Benedict’s time as pontiff, which frequently garnered extra consideration than his conciliatory actions.
In 2006, he quoted a 14th century Byzantine emperor who referred to as Islam “evil and inhuman” — which provoked rioting in some elements of the Muslim world and prompted Benedict to apologize — and he lifted the excommunication of a Holocaust-denying bishop in 2009.
Benedict’s different controversies included his feedback that condom distribution “will increase the issue” of AIDS, and his choice to revive a Good Friday prayer for the conversion of Jews.