Pope Benedict XVI
Following the death of Pope John Paul II on April 2, 2005, and his funeral on April 8, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger presided over the conclave to elect a new pope as dean of the College of Cardinals. The conclave opened on April 18 and Cardinal Ratzinger was elected as the 265th Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church on April 19, 2005. He chose the name “Benedict” and became Pope Benedict XVI.
On February 11, 2013, Pope Benedict unexpectedly announced his resignation in a speech in Latin before the cardinals, citing a “lack of strength of mind and body” due to his advanced age (he was 85 years old at the time). His resignation became effective on 28 February 2013. He is the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so on his own initiative since Celestine V in 1294.
Pope Benedict XVI served for nearly eight years as Pope of the Catholic Church.