February 22, 2006
Announces the creation of 15 new cardinals from 11 countries, including two from the U.S. – Archbishops William J. Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, and Seán P. O’Malley of Boston. The cardinals officially installed at a special consistory on March 24.
March 13, 2006
Holds private meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
March 22, 2006
A statement is issued by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity regarding Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to cease using the title “Patriarch of the West.”
May 11, 2006
Meets with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.
May 19, 2006
Decrees that Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, should no longer exercise his priestly ministry in public.
May 25-28, 2006
Second foreign apostolic journey. Four-day visit to Poland, the homeland of his predecessor John Paul II. The trip includes a meeting with President Lech Kaczynsky and visits to Nazi death camps at Auschwitz and Birkenau.
June 1, 2006
Receives Patrons of the Arts group from throughout Europe and North America at the Vatican Museum and thanks them for their support, which assists the Holy See with conservation and restoration work of the various Vatican museums.
Receives Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes of New Orleans, who offers him an assessment of the damages to the Archdiocese of New Orleans done by the flooding from Hurricane Katrina and the recovery efforts in process.
June 3, 2006
Meets with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
June 26, 2006
Receives Filipino President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who presents the Holy Father with a copy of a recent law outlawing the death penalty in the Philippines.
July 2, 2006
Authorizes the opening of the Vatican archives for the pontificate of Pope Pius XI, covering the years 1922-1936.
July 3, 2006
Sends a message to the people of Poznan, Poland, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first anti-Stalinist insurgency in a Soviet block country.
July 8-9, 2006
Third foreign apostolic journey. Visit to Valencia, Spain, for the fifth World Meeting of Families.
July 30, 2006
At his midday Angelus address, begs the world leaders to arrange for a Mideast ceasefire, after Israeli missiles left many victims in a Lebanon village.
August 11, 2006
Executions of three Catholics in Indonesia are halted after an appeal by Benedict XVI to Indonesian officials.
September 9-14, 2006
Fourth foreign apostolic journey. Visit to Munich, Altötting and Regensburg, Germany.
September 12, 2006
Muslim leaders take offense at some of the Pope’s comments in his address to academics in the University of Regensburg in Bavaria.
September 14, 2006
A statement is issued explaining the context and purpose of a quotation from medieval times.
September 19, 2006
Pope Benedict’s message to clarify his words on Islam is published in Arabic on the front cover of L’Observatore Romano.
October 13, 2006
Receives the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, in private audience.
November 28-December 1, 2006
Fifth foreign apostolic journey. Four-day visit to Turkey. Celebrates Mass in Ephesus. Visits with Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I in Istanbul and visits the Blue Mosque.
December 11, 2006
An announcement is made that Rome’s four patriarchal basilicas will henceforth be referred to as “papal” basilicas.
December 13, 2006
Receives Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
December 14, 2006
Meets with Orthodox Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece. Together, in this historic meeting, they sign a joint declaration reaffirming the collaboration of Orthodox and Catholics.