Biography

Born on April 16th 1927 in Marktl upon Inn as Joseph Ratzinger
(son of a Bavarian policeman)

Moved often on account of his father’s occupation

  • 1945–1951 Studies of Philosophy and Catholic Theology
  • 1951 Ordination to the priesthood together with his elder brother Georg
    (cathedral chorus master of the Regensburg Domspatzen).
  • 1953 Doctorate
  • 1957 Habilitation
  • Winter term 1954/55 Chair substitute
  • 1958 Extraordinary chair of Dogmatics and Fundamental Theology at the Philosophical-Theological University College of Freising
  • 1959 Professor of Fundamental Theology at Bonn
  • 1963 Professor of Dogmatics and Dogma History at Münster
  • 1966 at Tübingen and 1969 at Regensburg

  • November 1967 Moved to Pentling (still principal residence today).

  • 1977–1981 During his office as Munich Archbishop only secondary residence
  • 1977 Archbishop of Munich and Freising
  • 1977 Appointed cardinal

  • 1977 Bell benediction in Pentling (10th September)

  • 1981 Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and the International Theological Commission

  • Mai 1987 Honorary citizen of the community of Pentling


  • 1984 / 1997 / 2002 Blessings of three emergency vehicles of the Pentling volunteer firemen

  • 1998 Bell benediction in Pentling

  • 1993 Cardinal Bishop
  • 1998 Vice Dean of the Cardinal College
  • 2004 Dean of the Cardinal College

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul/Minnesota (1984), from the Catholic Universities of Lima (1986), Eichstätt (1987), Lublin (1988),the University of Navarra in Pamplona (1988), of Legal Science from the Free University Maria SS. Assunta in Rome (1999) and the Pontifical Theological Faculty Wroclaw (2000).

Member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences of the Institut de France, Paris (1992), of the Pontifical Sciences (2000)

  • 2005 Pope Benedict XVI

Recent publications:
Gott ist uns nah – Eucharistie: Mitte des Lebens;
Wegegemeinschaft des Glaubens – Kirche als Communio;
Unterwegs zu Jesus Christus