Cardinal Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger took the name Benedict XVI when he was elected the 265th successor of St Peter on 19 April 2005. The papal conclave that resulted in his election was assembled after the death of Pope Saint John Paul II.
Having served as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Pope Benedict XVI held the office of Pope for almost eight years.
He resigned on 28 February 2013 having announced his intention to do so on the morning of 11 February 2013. He was the first pope to resign the office for 600 years.
He chose to be known by the title “Pope Emeritus” upon his resignation.
He died, aged 95, in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican on Saturday, 31 December 2022.
Pope Benedict’s visit to the UK in 2010 was the first State visit of a Bishop of Rome to these shores (the second in all).
All our content covering the four-day Apostolic Visit alongside biographies, encyclicals, exhortations and more can be found on the official website.
Benedict XVI was Pope for less than eight years – 19 April 2005 to 28 February 2013 – and became generally known in Britain as the second pope in history to visit the UK, in 2010.
The Liturgy Office for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has prepared prayer cards for parishes so we can focus our prayers on Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and also pray for his successor, our Holy Father Pope Francis.
Deus Caritas Est - or God is Love - is Benedict XVI's first Encyclical Letter. Pope Benedict looks at the place of love in the Church and focuses on eros (sexual love), agape (God's love for humankind) and logos (the Word) - all in the context of Christ and His sacrifice for us.
Caritas in Veritate - or Charity in Truth - is Benedict XVI's third Encyclical Letter and brings forth the Church’s social teaching focusing on human development in charity and truth.