Section 2 - Aftermath
Pope Benedict XVI
Bishop of Rome, Pontifex Maximus
- Name: Joseph Alois Ratzinger, AKA Pope Benedict XVI
- Nationality: German, The Vatican
- Political Affiliation: Roman Catholic Church
- Education: PhD in Theology, multiple Professorships and Academic accolades
- DOB: 4/16/27
- DOD: -
- Known Parahuman Abilities: Pope Benedict XVI has a relatively minor Talent pertaining to organizational leadership and politics. He is not unnaturally charming, nor does he have meta-charisma. Nevertheless, his skill at moving through the sometimes cutthroat world of Church and Vatican politics is uncanny.
History: Joseph Alois Ratzinger was born on 16 April, Holy Saturday, 1927, at Schulstraße 11, at 8:30 in the morning in his parents’ home in Marktl am Inn, Bavaria, Germany. He was baptized the same day. He was the third and youngest child of Joseph Ratzinger, Sr., a police officer, and Maria Ratzinger (née Peintner).
At the age of five, Ratzinger was in a group of children who welcomed the visiting Cardinal Archbishop of Munich with flowers. Struck by the Cardinal’s distinctive garb, he later announced the very same day that he wanted to be a cardinal.
Following his 14th birthday in 1941, Ratzinger was conscripted in the Hitler Youth, as membership was required for all 14-year old German boys after December 1939, but was an unenthusiastic member and refused to attend meetings. His father was a bitter enemy of Nazism, believing it conflicted with the Catholic faith. In 1941, one of Ratzinger’s cousins, a 14-year-old boy with Down syndrome, was taken away by the Nazi regime to a care center and killed there in secrecy during the Aktion T4 euthanasia campaign of Nazi eugenics. In 1943 while still in seminary, he was drafted at age 16 into the German anti-aircraft corps. Ratzinger then trained in the German infantry, but a subsequent illness precluded him from the usual rigours of military duty. As the Allied front drew closer to his post in 1945, he deserted back to his family’s home in Traunstein after his unit had ceased to exist, just as American troops established their headquarters in the Ratzinger household. As a German soldier, he was put in a POW camp, but was released a few months later at the end of the war in the summer of 1945. He reentered the seminary, along with his brother Georg, in November of that year.
The two brothers were both ordained in Freising on 29 June 1951 by Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber of Munich. Ratzinger recalled:
”...at the moment the elderly Archbishop laid his hands on me, a little bird, perhaps a lark, flew up from the altar in the high cathedral and trilled a little joyful song.”
Ratzinger participated in the Second Vatican Council (1962–65). Ratzinger served as a peritus (theological consultant) to Josef Cardinal Frings of Cologne. He was viewed during the time of the Council as a reformer, cooperating with radical Modernist theologians like Hans Küng and Edward Schillebeeckx. In his 1968 book Introduction to Christianity, he wrote that the pope has a duty to hear differing voices within the Church before making a decision, and he downplayed the centrality of the papacy. It was during the turbulent student uprisings of this period that his Talent powers first manifested, and his rise within the Church began in earnest.
On 25 November 1981, Pope John Paul II named Ratzinger Prefect of the the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly known as the Holy Office, the historical Inquisition. In office, Ratzinger fulfilled his institutional role, defending and reaffirming Catholic doctrine, including teaching on topics such as birth control, homosexuality, and inter-religious dialogue. It was under Ratzinger’s tenure that he began collecting conservative Talent priests and promoting them into the Congregation, forming the Vatican’s unofficial Talent corps.
On 19 April 2005, Cardinal Ratzinger was elected as the successor to Pope John Paul II on the second day of the papal conclave after four ballots. Cardinal Ratzinger claimed publicaly that he had hoped to retire peacefully and said that “At a certain point, I prayed to God ‘please don’t do this to me’...Evidently, this time He didn’t listen to me.” Coincidentally, 19 April is the feast of St. Leo IX, the most important German pope of the Middle Ages, known for instituting major reforms during his pontificate.
Shortly after his election, Pope Benedict XVI became the target of a Talent assassination attempt. The radical terrorist group calling themselves The Knights of the Order of the Temple of Solomon, who have long opposed the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith on religious grounds, mounted an assault on the Vatican itself. While a handful of conservative Cardinals were successfully assassinated, the Talents of the Congregation successfully repelled the attempt, which was hushed up in the media.
In the year between his election and Lord Yama’s apocalypse, Benedict strongly advocated against any philosophy holding Talents to be intrinsically divine. He wrote an encyclical on the subject entitled: Miracles of the Modern Era where he bent his significant theological intellect toward the argument that Talent abilities are gifts from God granted according to His divine plan, but do not themselves make the recipients divinities. This encyclical was widely viewed as a direct critique of Lord Yama’s claims of godhood, as well as similar claims by Talents across the world.