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Benedict XVI (b. 1927)

Benedict XVI is the 265th Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church; he was elected on April 19, 2005, and celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass on April 24. Born Joseph Alois Ratzinger, he succeeded the 27-year reign of Pope John Paul II, a longtime friend since the two met as young bishops during the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965). Under John Paul II, Ratzinger worked as the prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF), which also made him the president of the International Theological Commission and the Pontifical Biblical Commission. Before his appointment to the CDF in 1981, Ratzinger divided his time between clerical and academic responsibilities in Germany, particularly distinguishing himself as an internationally renowned scholar. Even secular institutions have recognized his ...

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