Birthday special: Key moments of Pope Benedict XVI

Updated: 20 April, 2016 12:36 IST
  • Citing he no longer has the strength to fulfil the ministry, the 85-year-old Pontiff will step down on February 28. Here’s a rewind of his tenure. All pics/ AFP
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  • Birthday special: Key moments of Pope Benedict XVI
    December 2012: ‘Vatileaks’ scandal - Benedict pardons and frees his former butler. Handout photo obtained on September 29, 2012 from the Osservatore Romano shows Pope Benedict XVI's former butler Paolo Gabriele (R) sitting in a courtroom for the start of a closely-watched case in relation with the Vatileaks scandal. Gabriele was found guilty of leaking secret papers that purportedly exposed corruption in the Vatican
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  • Birthday special: Key moments of Pope Benedict XVI
    September 2012: Lebanon - Pope urges Mideast Christians & Muslims to forge harmonious society. A Lebanese flag flutters above Pope Benedict XVI's papamobile upon his arrival at the presidential palace of Baabda, east of Beirut, on September 15, 2012. The pope urged Middle Eastern Christians and Muslims to forge a harmonious, pluralistic society in which the dignity of each person is respected and the right to worship in peace is guaranteed
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    May 18, 2011: Pope calls on Catholics to pray that Chinese bishops refuse to separate from Rome. Pope Benedict XVI waves to pilgrims upon his arrival in St Peter's square at the Vatican, on May 18, 2011 for his weekly general audience
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    May 1, 2011: Benedict bestows the status of ‘blessed’ on John Paul II in front of a million people. An aerial view of St Peter's Square during Pope John Paul II's beatification. Exhilarated pilgrims thronged Saint Peter's Square for John Paul II's beatification
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    March 2010: Pope expresses "shame" to Irish Catholics over paedophile priests. A Catholic priest blesses a child during communion in St. Peter's Cathedral in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on March 21, 2010. A letter form Pope Benedict XVI was read out across Ireland on March 21 to apologizing to victims of child sex abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland. The pope's pastoral letter expressed shame and remorse at a wave of revelations over the past five years of abuse committed by those entrusted with the care of young people in Ireland, in cases stretching back decades
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  • Birthday special: Key moments of Pope Benedict XVI
    May 15, 2009: Benedict concludes a trip to the Holy Land, during which he visited Israel. Pope Benedict XVI praying at the Edicule, the tomb of Jesus Christ, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on May 15, 2009. Praying at Christianity's holiest site, the pope said that Jesus offers hope for peace in the Middle East, and insisted it is possible to overcome "recrimination and hostility." The pope kneeled in silent prayer in the tiny cave-like structure Christians venerate as the site where Jesus was buried for three days before he rose from the dead
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    March 17, 2009: Benedict against distributing condoms in the fight against AIDS. Pope Benedict XVI gestures at the vesper service held at the Basilic "Mineur, Marie reine des apotres" on March 18, 2009 in the capital Yaounde on the second day of his six-day visit to Africa, his first as pontiff. Benedict reminded bishops of their mission to defend the poor, controversy raged over his remarks, made as he began his week-long visit to Africa, that condoms were aggravating, rather than containing, the continent's rampant AIDS problem
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  • Birthday special: Key moments of Pope Benedict XVI
    January 24, 2009: Benedict lifts the excommunication of breakaway traditionalist bishops. Pope Benedict XVI sets free a dove from the window of his apartment at the end of his Sunday Angelus prayer in St. Peter's square at the Vatican on January 25, 2009. The pontiff cancelled the excommunication of four bishops ordained in 1998 by the controversial French bishop Marcel Lefebvre. The latter, who died in 1991, was excommunicated in 1988 by the then-Pope Jean Paul II for having ordained the bishops in defiance of the Vatican's authority
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    April 2008: Benedict meets with abuse victims during a trip to the United States. US President George W. Bush greets Pope Benedict XVI upon his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base April 15, 2008 in Maryland. Pope Benedict made a six-day visit to the United States, hoping to heal the wounds left in the US church by a decades-long sex scandal, and to tackle other sensitive subjects, including the war in Iraq
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    July 19, 2008: Benedict issues a historic full apology to victims of child sex abuse by clergy. Pope Benedict XVI gestures at a mass in Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral during World Youth Day celebrations on July 19, 2008. Pope Benedict XVI offered a historic full apology for child sex abuse by predatory priests, saying he was "deeply sorry" and calling for those guilty of the "evil" to be punished. The pope strayed from a prepared speech to express shame and make his first direct and explicit apology to victims of predatory clergymen in Australia, during a mass attended by local bishops, priests and novices
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    November 30, 2006: Benedict reaches out to Muslims during a visit to Turkey. Pope Benedict XVI visits the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, 30 November 2006. Benedict XVI, only the second pope in history -- after John Paul II in Damascus in 2001 -- to set foot in a Muslim house of worship, turned towards Mecca at the suggestion of the Muslim cleric accompanying him
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About The Gallery

Pope Benedict XVI served as Pope of the Catholic Church from 2005 until his resignation in 2013. As he celebrates his 89th birthday today, here’s a rewind of his papal career

First Published: 15 April, 2016 10:00 IST