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Former Pope Benedict XVI has died aged 95 in a Vatican monastery

Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, was the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2005 until his resignation in 2013. He was the first pope to resign in over 600 years, and his decision to do so was met with surprise and some controversy.

Pope Benedict was born in Marktl am Inn, Germany, in 1927, and was ordained as a priest in 1951. He later served as a professor of theology and was a leading figure in the Church’s efforts to engage with contemporary intellectual and cultural trends.

In 1981, Pope John Paul II appointed Ratzinger as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a position he held until his election as pope in 2005. As Prefect, Ratzinger was responsible for enforcing Catholic doctrine and overseeing the Church’s response to sexual abuse scandals.

Pope Benedict was known for his conservative stance on issues such as contraception, abortion, and same-sex marriage, and he was also critical of what he saw as the secularization of society.

During his papacy, Pope Benedict faced several challenges, including the continuing fallout from the sexual abuse scandals, tensions with Muslim leaders over his comments about Islam, and a leak of sensitive documents from the Vatican.

Pope Benedict retired in 2013 and was succeeded by Pope Francis. He currently resides in a monastery within the Vatican City State, where he remains active in the Church and continues to publish writings on theology and other topics.


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