Headline RoundupDecember 31st, 2022

Pope Benedict XVI, Who Resigned in 2013, Dies at 95

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Pope Benedict XVI died Saturday at the age of 95. Benedict served as head of the Catholic Church from 2005 until 2013, when he became the first Pope in 600 years to resign from the position, citing poor health.

Background: Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, came of age in Nazi Germany. Conscripted into the military during the second world war, Benedict deserted his post in April 1945. He was ordained into the Catholic Church in 1951 and spent several years teaching and studying theology, writing over 60 books between 1963 and 2013. In 1977, he was appointed bishop of Munich and shortly after was elevated to a cardinal.

Tenure as Pope: Benedict succeeded Pope John Paul II in 2005. A beloved figure among conservative Catholics for his devotion to traditionalism and outspoken criticism of an increasingly secular Europe, Benedict guided the Catholic Church through multiple controversies and scandals during his short stint as Pope, including corruption in the Vatican and a global sex abuse scandal. In his final years as Pope, Benedict defrocked nearly 400 priests for sexually abusing children.

Funeral: Benedict’s funeral will reportedly be held on January 5, 2023, and be led by his successor, Pope Francis.

How the Media is Covering It: The death of Pope Benedict XVI is the top story on most outlets across the spectrum Saturday. A New York Post article called Benedict a “a quiet, unassuming intellectual.” An Associated Press article contrasted the traditionalist Benedict with his more progressive successor, Francis.

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