(CNN Spanish) — Joseph Aloysius Ratzinger, born on April 16, 1927 in Marktal am Inn, Germany, who became Pope Benedict XVI, died on December 31 at the age of 95.
On April 19, 2005, Ratzinger was elected the 265th Pope in the history of the Catholic Church, after the death of Pope John Paul II, with 115 cardinals voting for him.
Benedict XVI held the position from 2005 until 2013, when he announced his retirement as pontiff, which shocked the entire world.
There was a reason for confusion around the planet, as he became the first pope to resign since Gregory XII did so in 1415.
Why did Benedict XVI decide to retire?
Joseph Ratzinger announced that he would retire as pope on February 11, 2013, and did so via a statement.
In his statement, Pope Benedict XVI cited his “old age” as the reason for his retirement. These were his exact words:
“Having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I came to the definite conclusion that my age, by reason of my advanced age, is not suitable for the adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that This ministry, because of its essential spiritual nature, must be accompanied not only by words and deeds, but also by prayer and suffering”.
“However, in today’s world, subject to very rapid change and shaken by questions of profound relevance to the life of faith, to steer St Peter’s boat and proclaim the Gospel of strength both of mind and body, one strength which, in recent months, has declined in me to such an extent that I have had to recognize my inability to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.
“For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, I freely declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, successor of St. Peter, which I was ordained as such by the Cardinals on April 19, 2005 By the way, on February 28, 2013 at 8:00 p.m., the See of Rome, the See of St. Peter, will be vacant and a conclave must be convened to elect a new Supreme Pontiff, whose For it is dependent.
Was there another reason?
At the time, many speculated whether there was a reason for his retirement other than his advanced age, as years earlier there had been allegations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, for which Benedict XVI apologized in 2010 and sought to stop promised to do more. future events.
However, Federico Lombardi, the then Vatican spokesman, assured that the Pope’s decision was not due to any outside pressure.
Similarly, Lombardi insisted that Benedict XVI was in poor health not because of any specific illness, “but because of the decline and weakness of his body, as the holy pontiff said in his statement.”
With information from Susanna Cullinan