Today Benedict XVI celebrates 45 years as Cardinal

Jasjot Singh

Today the beloved Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI celebrates 45 years of being created Cardinal by Pope Saint Paul VI on June 27, 1977.

The Supreme Pontiff Emeritus was 50 years old when he was created a cardinal on June 27, 1977. He had been serving as Archbishop of Munich and Freising in Germany for nearly a month.

In November 1981, Pope Saint John Paul II appointed him Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where he served for almost 25 years until he was elected Successor of Saint Peter in the April 2005 conclave.

After 8 years as Universal Pastor of the Church, he resigned in February 2013. Since then he has lived praying and studying in the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in the Vatican.

In June 2019, the interim director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, denied rumors about the state of health of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, which claimed that he had suffered a stroke or cerebral infarction.

Rumors began to circulate on June 17 in various media and social networks, suggesting that Benedict XVI had suffered mild ischemia, which triggered a stroke.

However, Gisotti told the Catholic Herald that “these rumors are false.”

On May 4, 2020, German journalist Peter Sewald published a new biography of the Pope Emeritus titled “Benedikt XVI – Ein Leben” (A Life), in which Joseph Ratzinger claims that modern society is formulating an “anti-Christian creed” and punishing those who resist it with “social excommunication”.

In a wide-ranging interview at the end of the 1,184-page book, the Pope Emeritus said that the greatest threat facing the Church is a “world dictatorship of seemingly humanistic ideologies.”

A few days later and on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Pope Saint John Paul II, Benedict XVI sent a letter to the Polish bishops, in which he traces the life of the pilgrim Pope and where he pronounces on the possibility of calling “Great” to Karol Wojtyla.

In March 2021, the Pope Emeritus reiterated that “there are not two Popes” that “the Pope is only one” and acknowledged that resigning from the Petrine ministry was “a difficult decision” but he made it “with full conscience and I think I did right”.

In April of that year, and as part of the premiere of a documentary about his life on his 94th birthday, it was learned that his personal secretary, Msgr. Georg Gänswein, tried to dissuade him from resigning the pontificate.

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