Louis Braille (January 4, 1809 – January 6, 1852) was the inventor of braille, a world-wide system used by blind and visually impaired people for reading and writing. Braille is read by passing one's fingers over characters made up of an arrangement of one to six embossed points. It has been adapted to almost every known language.
Braille was born in Coupvray near Paris, France. His father, Simon-René Braille, was a harness and saddle maker. At the age of three, Braille injured his left eye with a stitching awl from his father's workshop. This destroyed his left eye, and sympathetic ophthalmia led to loss of vision in his right. Braille was completely blind by the age of four. Despite his disability, Braille continued to attend school, with the support of his parents, until he was required to read and write.
At the age of ten, Braille earned a scholarship to the Institution Royale des Jeunes Aveugles (Royal Institution for Blind Youth) in Paris. The scholarship was his ticket out of the usual fate for the blind: begging for money on the streets of Paris. However, the conditions in the school were not much better. Braille was served stale bread and water, and students were sometimes beaten and locked up as punishment.
Braille, a bright and creative student, became a talented cellist and organist in his time at the school, playing the organ for churches all over France.
At the school, the children were taught basic craftsman's skills and simple trades. They were also taught how to read by feeling raised letters (a system devised by the school's founder, Valentin Haüy). However, because the raised letters were made using paper pressed against copper wire, the students never learned to write.
In 1821, a former soldier named Charles Barbier visited the school. Barbier shared his invention called "night writing," a code of twelve raised dots that let soldiers share top-secret information on the battlefield without having to speak. Although the code ended up being too difficult for the average soldier, Braille picked it up quickly."Louis Braille" in braille
That year, Braille began inventing his raised-dot system with his father's stitching awl, finishing at age fifteen. Braille's system, "braille", used only six dots and corresponded to letters, whereas Barbier used twelve dots corresponding to sounds. The six dot system allowed the recognition of letters with a single fingertip apprehending all the dots at once, requiring no movement or repositioning which slowed recognition in systems requiring more dots. The Braille system also offered numerous benefits over Valentin Haüy's raised letter method, the most notable being the ability to both read and write an alphabet.
Braille later extended his system to include notation for mathematics and music. The first book in braille was published in 1827 under the title Method of Writing Words, Music, and Plain Songs by Means of Dots, for Use by the Blind and Arranged for Them. In 1839 Braille published details of a method he had developed for communication with sighted people, using patterns of dots to approximate the shape of printed symbols. Braille and his friend Pierre Foucault went on to develop a machine to speed up the somewhat cumbersome system.
Braille became a well-respected teacher at the Institute where he had been a student. Although he was admired and respected by his pupils, his braille system was not taught at the Institute during his lifetime. He had always been plagued by ill health, and he died in Paris of tuberculosis in 1852 at the age of 43; his body would be disinterred in 1952 (the centenary of his death) and honored with re-interrment in the Panthéon in Paris.
The significance of the braille system was not identified until 1868, when Dr. Thomas Armitage, along with a group of four blind men, established the British and Foreign Society for Improving the Embossed Literature of the Blind (later the Royal National Institute of the Blind), which published books in Braille's system.
Today, braille has been adapted to almost every major national language and is the primary system of written communication for visually impaired persons around the world.
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Today, braille has been adapted to almost every major national language and is the primary system of written communication for visually impaired persons around the world. On 8 January 2006 Pope Benedict continued the tradition of his predecessor John Paul II and baptised several infants in the Sistine Chapel representing his pastoral role as Bishop of Rome. Thomas Armitage, along with a group of four blind men, established the British and Foreign Society for Improving the Embossed Literature of the Blind (later the Royal National Institute of the Blind), which published books in Braille's system. Other traditional items unused by the pope include the vestmental gloves, known as gauntlets and the papal fanon, a shoulder-length vestment reserved to Popes, worn with Mass vestments underneath the pallium. The significance of the braille system was not identified until 1868, when Dr. Like his two immediate predecessors, Benedict chose not to be crowned with the tiara during his Inauguration Mass, nor has he worn it since that time. He had always been plagued by ill health, and he died in Paris of tuberculosis in 1852 at the age of 43; his body would be disinterred in 1952 (the centenary of his death) and honored with re-interrment in the Panthéon in Paris. One item of clothing that Benedict has not worn to date is the papal tiara.
Although he was admired and respected by his pupils, his braille system was not taught at the Institute during his lifetime. On December 21, 2005, the pope began wearing the camauro for his general audiences; the traditional papal hat had not been seen since the pontificate of John XXIII (1958 - 1963). Braille became a well-respected teacher at the Institute where he had been a student. Pope Benedict XVI has also taken up the use of the red papal tabarro (outdoor cloak), which Pope John Paul II did not use after 1995. Braille and his friend Pierre Foucault went on to develop a machine to speed up the somewhat cumbersome system. His house cassock (his soutane or cassock with shoulder cape) also includes the upper half-sleeves discontinued for all other clerics by the authority of Paul VI's Motu Proprio "Pontificalis Domus". In 1839 Braille published details of a method he had developed for communication with sighted people, using patterns of dots to approximate the shape of printed symbols. He has also worn the red satin mozzetta and its ermine-trimmed winter version that has not been seen since Pope Paul VI.
The first book in braille was published in 1827 under the title Method of Writing Words, Music, and Plain Songs by Means of Dots, for Use by the Blind and Arranged for Them. He has revived the use of the red papal buskins. Braille later extended his system to include notation for mathematics and music. During his installment address, he spoke at length about the significance of one item of vestiture: the pallium, and has reverted to an ancient form of the pallium worn by first millennium pontiffs. The Braille system also offered numerous benefits over Valentin Haüy's raised letter method, the most notable being the ability to both read and write an alphabet. Pope Benedict XVI has been using papal clothing which had previously fallen into disuse. The six dot system allowed the recognition of letters with a single fingertip apprehending all the dots at once, requiring no movement or repositioning which slowed recognition in systems requiring more dots. The canonizations were part of a Mass that marked the conclusion of the Synod of Bishops and the Year of the Eucharist..
Braille's system, "braille", used only six dots and corresponded to letters, whereas Barbier used twelve dots corresponding to sounds. Peter's Square when he canonized Josef Bilczewski, Alberto Hurtado SJ and three others. That year, Braille began inventing his raised-dot system with his father's stitching awl, finishing at age fifteen. Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his first Canonizations on October 23, 2005 in St. Although the code ended up being too difficult for the average soldier, Braille picked it up quickly. On 29 September 2005 the Congregation for the Causes of Saints issued a communiqué announcing that henceforth beatifications would be celebrated by a representative of the Pope, usually the Prefect of that Congregation. Barbier shared his invention called "night writing," a code of twelve raised dots that let soldiers share top-secret information on the battlefield without having to speak. Unlike his predecessor, Benedict XVI delegated the beatification liturgical service to a Cardinal.
In 1821, a former soldier named Charles Barbier visited the school. The new Blesseds were Mother Marianne Cope and Mother Ascensión Nicol Goñi. However, because the raised letters were made using paper pressed against copper wire, the students never learned to write. The first beatification under the new Pope was celebrated on May 14, 2005 by José Cardinal Saraiva Martins. They were also taught how to read by feeling raised letters (a system devised by the school's founder, Valentin Haüy). . At the school, the children were taught basic craftsman's skills and simple trades. Normally the beatification process for a person does not begin until five years have passed since his or her death, but due to the popularity of John Paul II — devotees chanted "Santo subito!" meaning "Saint now!" during the late pontiff's funeral — Benedict XVI dispensed with the rule and styled the late pope with the title given to all those being scrutinized in the beatification process, Servant of God.
Braille, a bright and creative student, became a talented cellist and organist in his time at the school, playing the organ for churches all over France. On May 9, 2005, Benedict XVI began the beatification process for his immediate predecessor, John Paul II. Braille was served stale bread and water, and students were sometimes beaten and locked up as punishment. Levada relinquished his see in San Francisco on August 17, 2005 and is expected to be made a Cardinal in a future consistory. However, the conditions in the school were not much better. Though elements of the press have chosen to present Levada as a staunch conservative for his involvement with the drafting of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, his private views and public policies have not been entirely clear. The scholarship was his ticket out of the usual fate for the blind: begging for money on the streets of Paris. On May 13, 2005, Benedict XVI appointed a non-Cardinal, William Joseph Levada, Archbishop of San Francisco in the United States of America.
At the age of ten, Braille earned a scholarship to the Institution Royale des Jeunes Aveugles (Royal Institution for Blind Youth) in Paris. Benedict's only major new appointment was that of his successor as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Despite his disability, Braille continued to attend school, with the support of his parents, until he was required to read and write. The principal political officer, the Cardinal Secretary of State (often likened to the pope's Prime Minister), remains Angelo Cardinal Sodano, an Italian. Braille was completely blind by the age of four. This assured an easy transition into a new pontificate. This destroyed his left eye, and sympathetic ophthalmia led to loss of vision in his right. Since their terms had ended on the death of the previous pope, Benedict reappointed after his election all former senior officers of the Roman Curia, though most only in a provisional manner.
At the age of three, Braille injured his left eye with a stitching awl from his father's workshop. This has drawn a sharp criticism by Catholic gay rights advocates like journalist Andrew Sullivan, who claim that Benedict is espousing a form of fundamentalist edict and is opposed to an outside questioning of his doctrines. His father, Simon-René Braille, was a harness and saddle maker. John Lateran basilica on June 6, 2005, Benedict remarked on the issues of same-sex marriage and abortion:. Braille was born in Coupvray near Paris, France. In an address to a conference of the Diocese of Rome held at St. . In the discussion with secularism and rationalism, one of Benedict's basic ideas can be found in his address on the "Crisis of Culture" in the West, a day before Pope John Paul II died, when he referred to Christianity as the Religion of the Word (in the original Greek, Logos, reason, meaning, intelligence).
It has been adapted to almost every known language. He also traced the failed revolutions and violent ideologies of the 20th century to a conversion of partial points of view into absolute guides: "Absolutizing what is not absolute but relative is called totalitarianism," he said during World Youth Day. Braille is read by passing one's fingers over characters made up of an arrangement of one to six embossed points. Continuing what he said in the pre-conclave Mass about what he has often referred to as the "central problem of our faith today":  the world "moving towards a dictatorship of relativism",  on June 6, 2005 he also said:. Louis Braille (January 4, 1809 – January 6, 1852) was the inventor of braille, a world-wide system used by blind and visually impaired people for reading and writing. It is a message that helps to overcome what can be considered the great temptation of our time: the claim, that after the Big Bang, God withdrew from history." . speaking to him as to a friend, knowing well that the Lord really is the true friend of everyone, even of those who cannot do great things on their own...that God is working today, and that all we have to do is put ourselves at his disposal...is an extremely important message.
 He also said: "Truly we are all able, we are all called to open ourselves to this friendship with God.. For example, his address to the priests of Rome, his diocese as bishop, , to the cardinals in the pre-conclave, a key public address to the Church's top leaders , and to 150,000 people among whom were children going to their First Communion. "Friendship with Jesus Christ" is a theme of his preaching which is found in many of his homilies and his addresses. After referring to John Paul II's well-known words (Do not be afraid! Open wide the doors for Christ!), Benedict XVI says:.
According to commentators, during the Inaugural Mass, the core of his message, the most moving and famous part, is found in the last paragraph of his homily where he referred to both Jesus Christ and John Paul II. The emphases of his teachings are stated in more detail in Theology of Pope Benedict XVI. As Pope, Benedict XVI's main role is to teach about the Catholic faith and the solutions to the problems of the faith, a role that he can play well being a former head of the Church's Congregation of the Faith. In a return to tradition, Benedict chose to resurrect the tradition of delegating the celebration of the beatification liturgies.
However, all the cardinals had already sworn their obedience upon his election. During his inaugural Mass, the previous custom of all the cardinals submitting was replaced by having 12 people, representing cardinals, clergy, religious, a married couple and their child, and newly confirmed people, submit to him. Since it is the shield and not the background which is unique to the individual Pope, various backgrounds are possible (though rarely used) for even a single shield. Benedict's coat of arms has officially omitted the papal tiara, traditionally appearing in the background to designate the Pope's position and replaced it with a simple mitre. However, there have been papal documents since his inauguration that have been appearing with the papal tiara present.
It is notable that he has used an open popemobile, saying that he wants to be closer to the people. Pope Benedict has confounded the expectations of many in the early days of his papacy by his gentle public persona and his promise to listen. Peter's Square, on April 27, 2005, to explain to the world why he chose the name:. Benedict XVI used his first General Audience in St.
The choice of the regnal name Benedict (Latin "the blessed") is significant. John Lateran. (Some sources, such as the Catholic Encyclopedia and a number of church historians, additionally count Pope Stephen II, who died before being consecrated.) Then, on May 7, he was enthroned in a mass at the Basilica of St. Peters, formally becoming the 265th pope by the official Vatican reckoning.
On April 24, he was inaugurated in St. He then gave the blessing to the people. At the balcony, Benedict's first words to the crowd, given in Italian before he gave the traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing in Latin, were:. Cardinal Medina Estévez first addressed the massive crowd as "dear(est) brothers and sisters" in Italian, Spanish, French, German and English — each language receiving cheers from the international crowd — before continuing with the traditional Habemus Papam announcement in Latin.
Before his first appearance at the balcony of Saint Peter's Basilica after becoming pope, he was announced by the Jorge Cardinal Medina Estévez, protodeacon of the College of Cardinals. Cardinal Ratzinger had hoped to retire peacefully and said that "At a certain point, I prayed to God 'please don't do this to me'...Evidently, this time He didn't listen to me." . Leo IX, the most important German pope of the Middle Ages, known for instituting major reforms during his pontificate. Coincidentally, April 19 is the feast of St.
On April 19, 2005, Cardinal Ratzinger was elected as the successor to Pope John Paul II on the second day of the papal conclave after four ballots. Despite being the favourite (or perhaps because he was the favourite), it was a surprise to many that he was actually elected. The elections of both John Paul II and his predecessor, John Paul I had been rather unexpected. Though Ratzinger was increasingly considered the front runner by much of the international media, others maintained that his election was far from certain since very few papal predictions in modern history had come true.
Piers Paul Read wrote in The Spectator on March 5, 2005:. Ratzinger himself had repeatedly stated he would like to retire to a Bavarian village and dedicate himself to writing books, but more recently, he told friends he was ready to "accept any charge God placed on him.". In April 2005, before his election as pope, he was identified as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. On the death of John Paul II, the Financial Times gave the odds of Ratzinger becoming pope as 7–1, the lead position, but close to his rivals on the liberal wing of the church.
On January 2, 2005, Time magazine quoted unnamed Vatican sources as saying that Ratzinger was a frontrunner to succeed John Paul II should the pope die or become too ill to continue as pope. A careful reading of the text will probably prove disappointing.". He was quoted in the media as stating, "No great mystery is revealed; nor is the future unveiled. On June 26, 2000, following the release of the text of the prophecy, Ratzinger issued a joint statement with Cardinal Bertone that the third and final chapter of Mary's prophecy had been fulfilled in 1981 in a failed attempt on the Pope's life.
In 1997, Ratzinger and Capovilla publicly stated that the Third Message was not being withheld for fears it would condemn the changes of the Vatican II council. In October 1987 he stated that "the things contained in [the] Third Secret correspond to what has been announced in Scripture and has been said again and again in many other Marian apparitions; first of all, that of Fatima in what is already known of what its message contains, conversion and penitence are the essential conditions for salvation". A year later, the interview was re-published in The Ratzinger Report, although several statements were omitted. In 1984, an interview with Ratzinger was published in the Pauline Sisters newsletter and states that the message deals with "dangers threatening the faith and the life of the Christian and therefore of the world", while stating that it marks the beginning of the end-times.
He was one of seven people known to have read the actual Third Message put into writing in 1944, and the author of the Theological Commentary on the Third Message, published with the message itself in 2000. Until her death, Lúcia dos Santos, the last surviving of the three Fatima visionaries, was forbidden to discuss the Fatima revelations publicly unless given leave by Cardinal Ratzinger. In defending Dominus Iesus, Ratzinger himself has stated that his belief is that inter-faith dialogue should take place on the basis of equal human dignity, but that equality of human dignity should not imply that each side is equally correct. They point out that Ratzinger has been very active in promoting inter-faith dialogue.
Others also maintain that single quotes from Dominus Iesus are not indicative of intolerance or an unwillingness to engage in dialogue with other faiths, and this is clear from a reading of the entire document. His defenders argue that it is to be expected that a leader within the Catholic Church would forcefully and explicitly argue in favor of the superiority of Catholicism over other religions. He said Turkey had always been "in permanent contrast to Europe" and that linking it to Europe would be a mistake.. In an interview in 2004 for Le Figaro magazine, Ratzinger said that Turkey, a country Muslim by heritage and staunchly secularist by its state constitution, should seek its future in an association of Islamic nations rather than the European Union, which has Christian roots.
. The Dalai Lama congratulated Pope Benedict XVI upon his election. The World Jewish Congress "welcomed" his election to the pontificate, noted "his great sensitivity to the Jewish history and the Holocaust," and quoted the Pope in its press release:. The deliberate omission of the "filioque" clause ("and the Son") in the first paragraph  is seen as an outreach to the Greek Orthodox Church which has been in conflict with the Latin Catholic Church over its addition to the Nicene Creed for about one thousand years..
Addressing the question that one religion is as a good as another (syncretism or indifferentism), it states, "...followers of other religions can receive divine grace, it is also certain that objectively speaking they are in a gravely deficient situation in comparison with those who, in the Church, have the fullness of the means of salvation." (par.22). 4). (par. This document pointed out the danger to the Church of relativistic theories which seek to justify religious pluralism by denying that God has revealed truth to humanity.
. This was misunderstood by some who mistakenly believed that the Church had previously repudiated its unique role in the world. In 2000, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a document entitled Dominus Iesus, which reaffirmed the historic doctrine and mission of the Church to proclaim the Gospel. .
Shortly after his election, he told Francis Cardinal George, the Archbishop of Chicago, that he would attend to the matter.  His Good Friday reflections in 2005 were interpreted as strongly condemning and regretting the abuse scandals, which largely put to rest the speculation of indifference.  A report by the Catholic Church itself estimated that some 4,450 of the Roman Catholic clergy who served between 1950 and 2002 have faced credible accusations of abuse. In 2002, Ratzinger told the Catholic News Service that "less than one percent of priests are guilty of acts of this type."  Opponents saw this as ignoring the crimes of those who committed the abuse; others saw it as merely pointing out that this should not taint other priests who live respectable lives.
. In past eras, some serious crimes by priests against sexual morality, including pedophilia, were handled by that congregation or its predecessor, the Holy Office, but this has not been true in recent years."  The promulgation of the norms by Pope John Paul II and the subsequent letter by the then Prefect of the CDF were published in 2001 in Acta Apostolicae Sedis  which, in accordance with the Code of Canon Law , is the Holy See's official journal, disseminated monthly to thousands of libraries and offices around the world. "The letter said the new norms reflected the CDF's traditional “exclusive competence” regarding delicta graviora—Latin for “graver offenses.” According to canon law experts in Rome, reserving cases of clerical sexual abuse of minors to the CDF is something new.  However, the letter did not discourage victims from reporting the abuse itself to the police; the secrecy related to the internal investigation.
However, when the crime is sexual abuse of a minor, the "prescription begins to run from the day on that which the minor completes the eighteenth year of age."  Lawyers acting for two alleged victims of abuse in Texas claim that by sending the letter the cardinal conspired to obstruct justice. The letter extended the prescription (statute of limitations) for these crimes to ten years. As part of the implementation of the norms enacted and promulgated  on April 30, 2001 by Pope John Paul II, on May 18, 2001 Ratzinger sent a letter  to every bishop in the Catholic Church reminding them of the strict penalties facing those who revealed confidential details concerning enquiries into allegations against priests of certain grave ecclesiastical crimes, including sexual abuse, reserved to the jurisdiction of the CDF. .
As Cardinal Ratzinger was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the sexual abuse of minors by priests was his responsibility to investigate from 2001, when that charge was given to the CDF by Pope John Paul II. Because of these health problems, and in order to have time free to write, he had hoped to retire, but had continued at his post in obedience to the wishes of Pope John Paul II.. France's Philippe Cardinal Barbarin further revealed that since the first stroke, Ratzinger has suffered from a heart condition. In May 2005, the Vatican revealed that he had subsequently suffered another mild stroke - it did not reveal when, other than that it occurred between 2003 and 2005.
The existence of the stroke was known to the Conclave that elected him pope. In the early 1990s Ratzinger suffered a stroke, which slightly impaired his eyesight temporarily. (See also Theology of Pope Benedict XVI.). During his period in office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith took disciplinary measures against some outspoken liberation theologians in Latin America in the 1980s.
In office, Ratzinger fulfilled his institutional role, defending and reaffirming official Catholic doctrine, including teaching on topics such as birth control, homosexuality, and inter-religious dialogue. He was promoted with the College of Cardinals to become to Cardinal Bishop of Velletri-Segni in 1993, was made the College's vice-dean in 1998 and dean in 2002. Consequently, he resigned his post at Munich in early 1982. On November 25, 1981, Pope John Paul II named Ratzinger Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly known as the Holy Office, the historical Inquisition.
Of these only he and Cardinal William Baum took part in the Conclave. By the time of the 2005 Conclave, he was one of only 14 remaining cardinals appointed by Paul VI, and one of only three of those under the age of 80. In the consistory of June 1977, he was named a cardinal by Pope Paul VI. He took as his episcopal motto Cooperatores Veritatis, co-workers of the Truth, from 3 John: 8, a choice he comments upon in his autobiographical work, Milestones.
In March 1977, Ratzinger was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising. Until his election as Pope, he remained one of the journal's most prolific contributors. Communio, now published in seventeen editions (German, English, Spanish and many others), has become a prominent journal of Catholic thought. In 1972, he founded the theological journal Communio with Hans Urs von Balthasar, Henri de Lubac, Walter Kasper and others.
Increasingly, his views, despite his reformist bent, contrasted with those liberal ideas gaining currency theological circles. In 1969, he returned to Bavaria, to the University of Regensburg. Ratzinger came increasingly to see these and associated developments (such as decreasing respect for authority among his students, the rise of the German gay rights movement) as related to a departure from traditional Catholic teachings. During this time, he distanced himself from the atmosphere of Tübingen and the Marxist leanings of the student movement of the 1960s, that in Germany quickly radicalised in the years 1967 and 1968, culminating in a series of disturbances and riots in April and May 1968. These sentences, however, did not appear in later editions of the book.
He also wrote that the Church of the time was too centralized, rule-bound and overly controlled from Rome. In his 1968 book Introduction to Christianity, he wrote that the pope has a duty to hear differing voices within the Church before making a decision, and downplayed the centrality of the papacy. In 1966, he was appointed to a chair in dogmatic theology at the University of Tübingen, where he was a colleague of Hans Küng. (Later, as the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Ratzinger most clearly spelled out the Catholic Church's position on other religions in the document Dominus Iesus (2000) which also talks about the proper way to engage in ecumenical dialogue.).
He was viewed during the time of the Council as a reformer. At the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), Ratzinger served as a peritus or theological consultant to Josef Cardinal Frings of Cologne, Germany, and has continued to defend the council, including Nostra Aetate, the document on respect of other religions and the declaration of the right to religious freedom. Ratzinger became a professor at the University of Bonn in 1959; his inaugural lecture was on "The God of Faith and the God of Philosophy." In 1963, he moved to the University of Münster, where his inaugural lecture was given in a packed lecture hall, as he was already well known as a theologian. It was completed in 1957 and he became a professor of Freising College in 1958.
His Habilitationsschrift (which qualified him for a professorship) was on Bonaventure. Joseph Ratzinger's dissertation (1953) was on Augustine, entitled "The People and the House of God in Augustine's Doctrine of the Church". They were both ordained on June 29, 1951 by Michael Cardinal von Faulhaber of Munich. Following repatriation in 1945, the two brothers entered Saint Michael Seminary in Traunstein, and then studied at the Ducal Georgianum (Herzogliches Georgianum) of the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich.
The family was reunited when his brother, Georg, returned after being repatriated from a prisoner-of-war camp in Italy. Ratzinger was briefly interned in an Allied prisoner-of-war camp near Ulm and was repatriated on June 19, 1945. His unit served at various posts around the city and was never sent to the front. He was eventually drafted into the German army at Munich to receive basic infantry training in the nearby town of Traunstein.
After his class was released from the Corps in September 1944, Ratzinger was put to work setting up anti-tank defences in the Hungarian border area of Austria in preparation for the expected Red Army offensive. In 1943, when he was 16, Ratzinger was drafted with many of his classmates into the Luftwaffenhelfer programme. According to one of Ratzinger's biographers, the National Catholic Reporter correspondent John Allen, he was an unenthusiastic member who refused to attend meetings. Following his 14th birthday in 1941, Ratzinger joined the Hitler Youth, membership of which was legally required from December 1936.
Struck by the Cardinal's distinctive costume, later that day he announced he wanted to be a cardinal. At the age of five, Ratzinger was in a group of children who welcomed the visiting Cardinal Archbishop of Munich with flowers. The pope's relatives agree that his priestly vocation was apparent from boyhood. His sister, Maria Ratzinger, who never married, managed Cardinal Ratzinger's household until her death in 1991.
Pope Benedict's brother, Georg, a priest and former director of the Regensburger Domspatzen choir, is still alive. He was the third and youngest child of Joseph Ratzinger, Sr., a police officer, and Maria Ratzinger (née Peintner). He was baptized the same day. Joseph Alois Ratzinger was born on 16th April, Holy Saturday, 1927 at Schulstrasse 11, his parents' home in Marktl am Inn, Bavaria.
He plays the piano and has a preference for Mozart and Beethoven. He is a member of a large number of academies, such as the French Académie des sciences morales et politiques. He can read ancient Greek and biblical Hebrew. Benedict speaks fluently his native German, and also Italian, French, English, Spanish and Latin.
Benedict XVI's views appear to be similar to those of his predecessor in maintaining the traditional Catholic doctrines on artificial birth control, abortion, and homosexuality while promoting Catholic social teaching. He was the public face of the church in much of the sede vacante period, although technically he ranked below the camerlengo in administrative authority during that time. As Dean of the College of Cardinals he presided over the funeral of John Paul II and also over the Mass immediately preceding the 2005 conclave in which he was elected, in which he called on the assembled cardinals to hold fast to the doctrine of the faith. Before becoming pope, Cardinal Ratzinger was already one of the most influential men in the Roman Curia, and was a close associate of the late John Paul II.
He was the first Dean of the College elected pope since Paul IV in 1555 and the first cardinal bishop elected pope since Pius VIII in 1829. In 1998, he became sub-dean of the College of Cardinals and on November 30, 2002, dean, adding also as is custom the title of Cardinal bishop of the suburbicarian diocese of Ostia. He was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by Pope John Paul II in 1981 and was also assigned the honorific title of the cardinal bishop of the suburbicarian diocese of Velletri-Segni on April 5, 1993. Born in Bavaria, Germany, Benedict had a distinguished career as a university theologian before being appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising by Pope Paul VI, and very shortly afterwards made a cardinal in the consistory of June 27, 1977.
The last pope named Benedict was Benedict XV, an Italian who reigned from 1914 to 1922, during World War I. He is the ninth German pope, the last being the Dutch-German Adrian VI (1522–1523). He served longer as a cardinal before being elected pope than did any pope since Benedict XIII (elected 1724). He is the oldest person to have been elected pope since Clement XII in 1730.
Pope Benedict XVI was elected pope at the age of 78. . During his papacy, Benedict XVI has particularly emphasized what he sees as a need for Europe to return to fundamental Christian values, in response to increasing de-Christianization and secularization in many developed countries, where secular humanism is influential. At the time of his election as Pope, he was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Dean of the College of Cardinals.
He served as a professor at various German universities, and was a theological expert at the Second Vatican Council before becoming Archbishop of Munich and Freising and Cardinal. One of the best-known theologians since the 1960s and a prolific author, he is viewed as a close conservative ally of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II. John Lateran, on May 7, 2005. He was elected on April 19, 2005 in a papal conclave, celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass on April 24, 2005, and took possession of his cathedral, the Basilica of St.
XVI), born Joseph Alois Ratzinger on April 16, 1927 in Marktl am Inn, Bavaria, Germany, is the 265th and reigning pope, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, and sovereign of Vatican City State. Pope Benedict XVI (Latin: Benedictus PP. On August 21, he led a mass at Marienfeld with about one million youths present. He also spoke with representatives of the Muslim and Protestant communities of Cologne.
Benedict and his immediate predecessor John Paul II are the only two popes since St Peter known to have visited a synagogue. The Pope visited the synagogue of the Jewish community in Cologne, which is the oldest Jewish community in the world north of the Alps. There he met with President Horst Köhler, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Leader of the Opposition Angela Merkel and others, and visited the famous Cologne Cathedral. Germany (August 18 to August 21, 2005): The Pope arrived in Germany on August 18 in order to participate in the 20th World Youth Day in Cologne.
It was his first pilgrimage outside Rome since being elected the 265th leader of the Roman Catholic Church on April 19. The Pope referred to Bari as a "land of meeting and dialog" with the Orthodox Church in his homily at a Mass that closed a national religious conference. Nicholas of Myra, a 4th-century saint who is one of the most popular in both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. Bari, on Italy’s Adriatic coast, is considered a “bridge” between East and West and is home to the relics of St.
Benedict made the pledge in a city closely tied to the Orthodox Church. Italy (May 29, 2005): Pope Benedict visited the Italian port of Bari and pledged to make the reconciliation with the Eastern Orthodox Church a "fundamental" commitment of his papacy.