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Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger: Profile of a Candidate for Pope


Who is Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger?:

Joseph Ratzinger was born on April 16, 1927, in Bavaria, Germany

Background and Early Life of Joseph Ratzinger:

Joseph Ratzinger started out as a progressive priest and was a liberal theologian during the Second Vatican Council. After the student riots during 1968, however, he began a sharp turn to the right. He served as John Paul II’s theological advisor for most of his pontificate and has been a leading force behind efforts to repress liberal, progressive voices.

Current Status of Joseph Ratzinger:

Under Pope John Paul II, Joseph Ratzinger led the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly known as the Inquisition. He is Dean of the College of Cardinals, the body that elects the pope.

Theology of Joseph Ratzinger:

Joseph Ratzinger may be the best known cardinal in the world, in large part because of his consistent defense of the most conservative and traditionalist positions.

Assessment of Joseph Ratzinger:

Joseph Ratzinger is wildly popular among conservatives, but just as unpopular among liberals. The election of Cardinal Ratzinger would represent a strong vote in favor of conservatism, traditionalism, and a continued fight against the modern world.


Update: Joseph Ratzinger was elected and has adopted the name Benedict XVI. Learn more about Pope Benedict XVI, formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

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