Pope Benedict XVI Biography, Net Worth, Age, Height, Nationality, Wife, Death & More

Pope Benedict XVI Biography, Net Worth, Age, Height, Nationality, Wife, Death & More

Pope Benedict XVI’s biography includes his age, parents, siblings, and wealth. From April 19, 2005, until his resignation on February 28, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI was the head of the Catholic Church and the ruler of the Vatican City State. He is now a retired prelate.

In the papal conclave that was held in 2005 after Pope John Paul II’s passing, Benedict was chosen as the new pope. After stepping down, Benedict decided to be called as “Pope Emeritus.”

Quick Facts

First NameCohutta
Last NameGrindstaff

Pope Benedict XVI’s Birthday, Age

Pope Benedict XVI was born on April 16, 1927,, in Place. As of 2022, he is 95 Years old in age at the time of his demise.

Physical Attributes (Height & Weight)

Pope Benedict XVI is a great personality. We are not sure about the height, weight, and physical attributes of Pope Benedict XVI as of now.

He is 5 Feet and 7 Inches tall when it comes to height measurement and he weighs 70 Kilograms in weight. He has dark hair with black eyes.

Height5 Feet and 7 Inches
Weight70 Kilograms
Eye ColorNot Available
Hair ColorNot Available

Education, Early Life & Nationality of Pope Benedict XVI

His mother worked as a hotel cook, and his father was a police officer. When the Nazis seized power in Germany in 1933, Ratzinger, the youngest of three children, was six years old. His parents, devout Catholics, were opposed to the dictatorship. In 1939, Ratzinger enrolled in the seminary. He was forced to join the Hitler Youth in 1941, and after being enlisted in the German Wehrmacht in 1943, he served in a Bavarian antiaircraft unit before being dispatched to Hungary in 1945 to set up tank traps. In April of that year, he fled, leading to his capture and brief detention by American forces.

Ratzinger resumed his education in the seminary during the war, and in June 1951, he was ordained as a priest. He received a doctorate in theology from the University of Munich in 1953. He obtained his teaching credential in 1957 and until 1959 taught dogma and theology at the higher school of philosophy and theology in Freising. Later, from 1959 to 1969, he taught at the University of Bonn as well as the universities of Münster (1963–1966) and—at the request of theologian Hans Küng—Tübingen (1966–69). He relocated to the University of Regensburg in 1969, where he later rose to the position of vice president.

Ratzinger produced numerous significant theological books throughout the course of his lengthy academic career, including Introduction to Christianity (1968) and Dogma and Revelation (1973). Ratzinger’s theological work caught the attention of Joseph Frings, the archbishop of Cologne, who asked him to be his knowledgeable assistant at the Second Vatican Council (1962–65). Ratzinger, one of the council’s more liberal members, disagreed with others who wanted to restrict reform. In the end, Pope Paul VI (1963–78) reorganised the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as a result of his contribution to a text that harshly attacked it. But Ratzinger’s time at college led to a change in his perspective. During his time as a professor at Tübingen, he saw student protests and denunciations of Christianity. These actions made him think of Nazi tactics and gradually influenced him to change his theological stance.

Paul VI appointed Ratzinger as the archbishop of Munich and Freising in March 1977, and three months later he was given the cardinal’s hat. He was appointed prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on November 25, 1981, by his close friend Pope John Paul II (1978-2005), who he had known since 1977. Both the pope and his prefect had lived under totalitarian governments in the past, and they had similar perspectives on the church. Ratzinger served as the pope’s closest advisor for over 20 years.

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Ratzinger had a reputation as a hardliner during his tenure as prefect of the Congregation for the Teaching of the Faith, the Vatican institution tasked with upholding Catholic doctrine and determining if disciplinary action against clergy warranted in accordance with canon law. He opposed liberation theology and repressed more liberal theologians like Charles Curran and Leonardo Boff of Brazil. Even his sharpest detractors acknowledged his intelligence and his capacity to handle contentious subjects in an impartial and dispassionate manner, despite his notoriety. Along with his many skills—he was a multilingual speaker and a skilled pianist with a special liking for Mozart—he was also known for his humility and tenderness. Ratzinger was heavily involved in Pope John Paul’s historic outreach to other faiths, especially Judaism and Islam, even though he argued that the Catholic faith was superior to other religions and that they were insufficient as means of salvation.

Since Ratzinger was a leading candidate, his elevation as pope on the second day of the conclave came as a bit of a surprise. Front-runners are rarely chosen, which is reflected in the proverb “He who enters as a pope goes as a cardinal.” His longtime support of John Paul and his adherence to his predecessor’s beliefs and principles appear to have secured his place with the cardinal electors. He furthered his reputation by giving a sermon during the pope’s funeral service. Ratzinger graciously accepted his election on April 19, 2005, becoming, at the age of 78, the oldest newly elected pope since Clement XII, despite the fact that he claimed to have prayed not to be picked (1730–40). The patron saint of Europe and the father of Western monasticism, St. Benedict of Nursia, as well as earlier popes bearing the same name, such as Benedict XV (1914–22), who attempted to mediate between the belligerents during World War I, were all recalled in his decision to use the name Benedict XVI. To continue John Paul’s engagement with Judaism, Islam, and other Christian churches, Benedict XVI acted right away. He also stated that revitalising the Catholic church in Europe would be one of his papacy’s objectives. Benedict also stated that he will uphold the conservative orthodoxy of his predecessor regarding issues of sexuality, clergy celibacy, and ecclesiastical structure.

Early in his pontificate, Benedict travelled to a number of nations, including Turkey, where he met the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople. His goal was to foster better ties between the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. He published the encyclicals Deus caritas est (2005; “God Is Love”) and Spe salvi (2007; “Saved by Hope”) and established new guidelines enabling increased use of the Latin mass—the order of the mass used prior to the changes of the Second Vatican Council. In 2007, Benedict gave his approval to the International Theological Commission’s findings that the conventional doctrine of limbo was “unduly restrictive” and that newborns who were not baptised could be rescued. Father Antonio Galvo (1739–1822), the first native Brazilian saint, was canonised during his first tour to the Western Hemisphere. When he decreed that the election of a new pope needed a two-thirds majority of the cardinals present in the conclave, he also reversed John Paul’s reform of the papal election procedure and reinstated the customary method.

In 2008, Benedict made his first trip to the United States as pope. While there, he spoke out against clergy sexual abuse and gave a speech at the UN. Later that year, the Vatican organised the first Catholic-Muslim Forum, a three-day gathering of Catholic theologians and Islamic intellectuals, with the goal of fostering greater understanding between the two faiths. He spoke at the forum.

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In January 2009, Benedict controversially decided to restore the excommunications of four bishops who had been consecrated in 1988 by ultraconservative French archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (1905–91), who was excommunicated alongside them, without papal approval. Benedict authorised an apostolic constitution, or special decree, in November of that same year as a gesture of goodwill for conservative Anglicans. This permitted Anglican pastors and laypeople to join the Roman Catholic Church while upholding some Anglican traditions.

Benedict, and his involvement in the instances in Germany in particular, came under intense public criticism in 2010 as a result of allegations of sexual and physical abuse by parish priests and in parochial schools, particularly in Germany, Ireland, and the United States. Benedict chastised the Irish church’s bishops for poor leadership in a pastoral letter. As prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Benedict was accused of having a policy of covering up cases of sexual abuse. The Vatican rejected this accusation as “false and calumnious,” saying that his handling of the cases demonstrated “wisdom and firmness.”

Benedict stated in February 2013 that he will step down at the end of the month due to age and health issues. In St. Peter’s Square, he gave his last public speech in front of more than 50,000 people. He officially announced his resignation on February 28 and assumed the title of pope emeritus, which raised the question of whether this precedent would help to normalise popes’ resignations in the future. Following Pope Francis’ election, the papacy entered new territory with two popes residing side by side in the Vatican Palace.

The retired pope was accused of failing to properly handle at least four allegations of sexual abuse by priests while serving as the archbishop of Munich in an investigation ordered by the archdiocese in 2022. Although Benedict denied any fault in the cases, he begged for pardon for the way he handled them.

Net Worth & Earnings of Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI has an estimated net worth of $5 Million.

Family of Pope Benedict XVI

As of now, we have very limited information about the family of Pope Benedict XVI. The name of Pope Benedict XVI’s father is Joseph Ratzinger, Sr. and so is the name of his mother Maria Ratzinger.

Georg Ratzinger and Maria Ratzinger are his siblings.

FatherNot Available
MotherNot Available
BrotherNot Available
SisterNot Available

Relationship & Wife of Pope Benedict XVI

We would update the details about his wife and children soon.


When he was five years old, Pope Benedict was one of several young children who gave flowers to Cardinal Archbishop of Munich Michael von Faulhaber.

He was afterwards moved by the cardinal’s unusual attire and declared his desire to become one. He went to the elementary school in Aschau am Inn, which was renamed in his honour in 2009.

His father in particular detested the Nazis, and because of his father’s opposition to Nazism, the family experienced harassment and demotions.

He was forced to join the Hitler Youth after turning 14 in 1941 because it was a legal requirement for all German boys who turned 14 after March 1939. However, according to his brother, he was a disinterested member who skipped meetings.

He and his brother Georg enrolled in Saint Michael Seminary in Traunstein in November 1945, and they then attended the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich’s Ducal Georgianum to further their education.

On June 29, 1951, Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber of Munich, whom Ratzinger had known as a youngster, ordaining them both at Freising.

In 1953, he finished writing his dissertation on Augustine of Hippo, titled The People and the House of God in Augustine’s Doctrine of the Church. In order to become eligible for a professorship, he finished his habilitation at Bonaventure.

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He started instructing at Freising College in 1958 after it was finished in 1957. Romano Guardini, an Italian-German who studied in Freising and afterwards at the University of Munich, taught in Munich from 1946 to 1951. Pope Benedict was greatly affected by Guardini’s thoughts.

These two thinkers shared a preoccupation with rediscovering the fundamentals of Christianity. Guardini wrote The Essence of Christianity in 1938, and Ratzinger wrote Introduction to Christianity three decades later. Both would go on to become influential figures for the Catholic Church in the twentieth century.

He started serving as a priest in the Munich parish of St. Martin, Moosach, in 1951. In 1959, Pope Benedict was appointed as a professor at the University of Bonn. His first address was titled “The God of Faith and the God of Philosophy.”

In 1963, he changed schools and enrolled at Münster University. He participated in the Second Vatican Council and served as a peritus (theological adviser) to Cardinal Frings of Cologne during this period (1962-1965).

On March 24, 1977, he was named Archbishop of Munich and Freising, and on May 28, 1977, he was consecrated a bishop. His episcopal motto was Cooperatores veritatis (Latin for “cooperators of the truth”), taken from the Third Epistle of John, a decision he discussed in his autobiographical book Milestones.

Benedict XVI was chosen to be the 265th Pope at the age of 78. He is the oldest pope elected since Pope Clement XII (1730–1740). Before becoming Pope, he served as a cardinal for a longer period of time than any previous Pope since Benedict XIII (1724–1730).

The only non-Italian popes to rule consecutively since the Avignon Papacy’s seven consecutive Frenchmen were Benedict and his Polish predecessor John Paul II (1309–1378). The last Pope with that name was Benedict XV, an Italian who served as pope from 1914 to 1922, during World War I. (1914–1918).

In honour of Benedict XV and Benedict of Nursia, he chose the pontifical name Benedict, which derives from the Latin word for “blessed.”

Pope Benedict XV devoted his life to bringing about peace amongst the combatant nations during the First World War. The Rule of Saint Benedict, which continues to be the most significant treatise on the monastic life in Western Christianity, was written by St. Benedict of Nursia, who also founded the Benedictine monasteries (the Benedictine order was in charge of the bulk of monasteries in the Middle Ages).

The structure of the Roman Curia under Benedict was just slightly altered. He appointed Cardinal Renato Martino as president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples in March 2006.

Each council received its own president for the first time in 2009, when Martino retired. The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Pontifical Council for Culture briefly amalgamated in March 2006 under Cardinal Paul Poupard.

Due to his advanced age, the Vatican announced on February 11 that Pope Benedict XVI would abdicate on February 28, 2013, making him the first pope to do so since Gregory XII in 1415.

Frequently Asked Questions

What was Pope Benedict known for?
Benedict, known for his conservative views, held a doctorate in theology and served as Pope for just over ten years before stepping down, citing his mental and physical health. He was the first pope to resign since the 1400s; normally, popes serve until death.

Can Pope Benedict speak English?
Benedict is fluent in French, Italian, English, and Spanish, in addition to his native German. In addition, he is fluent in Portuguese, Latin, Biblical Hebrew, and Biblical Greek.

Is Pope Benedict the only Pope to resign?
He is not the only Pope to resign, however, he was the first Pope to resign in 600 years.

What religious order is Pope Benedict?
Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Alois Ratzinger on April 16, 1927, in Marktl am Inn, Germany, is the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church (2005–13). Benedict was a distinguished theologian and prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith before becoming Pope.

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