After almost eight years of leading the Catholic Church, 85-year-old Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI resigned the papacy on Feb. 28, 2013. He cited his deteriorating health as the primary reason. Pope Emeritus Benedict is the fifth pope in the history of the papacy to resign and the first in nearly 600 years. Visit our Papal Transition 2013 page for coverage of this historic period.
On April 19, 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected the 265th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, and took the name Pope Benedict XVI. Crowds erupted with shouts and cheers when his name was announced by Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez: "Habemus Papam!" ("We have a pope!)
News and background information of the Holy Father.
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