The Pope Ascends into Heaven


Nick Youngson

Pope Benedict. Courtesy of Stella Maris

The Pope is the  closest thing to God according to the Roman Catholic community. Sadly, though, on December 31, 2022, Pope Benedict  XVI passed away. With a variety of amazing religions, many people don’t know who the Pope is or even if the Pope does anything else other than serve God. 

Pope Benedict XVI’s story begins when he was born on April 16, 1927.  Before he became Pope Benedict XVI, he was Joseph Alois Ratzinger. His family was extremely Catholic, and all Ratzinger wanted to do was spread the word of the Lord, so he entered the Seminary in 1939. However, during this time in Germany, Hitler had Nazi’s take over Germnay. Little did the young boy know, he was going to be drafted to Hitler Youth and serve as a military man. He completed several years in the military serving in the antiaircraft in Bavaria but was later transferred to set tank traps in Hungary in 1945. Ratzinger stopped serving for a year when he was captured as a prisoner from the American Forces.

By the time Ratzinger grew older and war finally ended he returned to studying in the Seminary, he was then ordained as a priest in 1951. He was not only dedicated to God during this time but had a passion for educating others. He got a Doctorate in Theology in the University of Munich and gained his teaching license. From 1952 to 1966 he taught at multiple universities like University of Bon and University of Munich about Dogma and Theology, he even became vice president of the  University of Regensburg. As Ratzinger continued on his religious journey,  he was assigned to be C.D.F by Pope John Paul II, he spent decades serving for the Holy Office. An article by the New Yorker says, “ He lived simply, worked hard, and treated colleagues cordially. He dressed in a black cassock and a cardinal’s red sash, and, with his thick white hair, he was at once clerkish and dashing.” Ratzinger always served as a good colleague and followed the Lord’s word faithfully. 

Ratzinger has even written several books over the years of his existence. Most people in the Catholic Community have named Ratzinger as one of the best authors to ever exist. His bestseller being ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ in three volumes (2007, 2011, 2012). His work didn’t contain much of the church’s teachings but reflected a majority of his own personal research. In these books Ratzinger focused on Jesus and the historical critical method, which is based on the Gospel in this ancient culture. The book also contains meditations and key parts of Jesus’s life. A nun from Our Lady of Peace says, “ Pope Benedict XVI had amazing insight into a brilliant and holy man the likes of which we may never hear of or see again. His assessment of the sickness of modern society is revealing and his faith in the salvation of man is profound.” It’s very beautiful to think that Ratzinger has reached many hearts and spread the word of the Lord to people all over the world. 

When Ratzinger became pope in 2005 at age 78,  he changed his name to Pope Benedict XVI. He became one of the oldest pope to be elected since Pope Clement. During his Papacy he accomplished many wonderful things, he tried improving the relationship between the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic church. He went all over the world helping people in need and  continued his teachings. Pope Benedict XVI said he provided all Catholic Christians with a model demonstrating how “heart and reason, thought and affection, rationality and emotion interact” when explaining the power that the Gospel holds. The Roman Catholic Community claims Ratzinger to be one of the smartest Popes to ever live. It wasn’t long when Pope Benedict XVI made a controversial decision in 2013 to resign from being the main Pope because of his health and age. He then continued with his teachings of theology and his writings until the day of his death on December 31, 2022. Pope Benedict XVI will be greatly missed by many people, with his greatest successes he really did leave a great mark on the world with the amount of unforgettable things he did spreading his knowledge and love towards the Roman Catholic religion.