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Benedict XVI dies at 95

Benedict XVI, an intellectual giant of the modern Church, dies at 95

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, a German theologian considered one of the greatest Catholic thinkers of his time, has died at the age of 95.

Cardinal Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger was elected pope on April 19, 2005, and took the name Benedict XVI. Eight years later, on Feb. 11, 2013, the 85-year-old shocked the world when he announced that he was resigning from the papacy, the first such action by a pope in nearly 600 years. He cited his advanced age and lack of strength as unsuitable for the exercise of his office.

Even before his election as pope, Ratzinger exerted a lasting influence on the modern Church, first as a young theologian at the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) and later as prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation (now Dicastery) for the Doctrine of the Faith.