On April 18, 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected the 264th successor of Saint Peter and chose the name Benedict XVI. His papacy testifies to both a scholarly churchman, having extensively studied theology and philosophy, and pastoral sensitivity. When elected pope at age 78, he didn't anticipate traveling the globe given his age and health, but quickly realized that the best way to reach the people of God was to go to them. He attended the first World Youth Day in Germany just months after his election. On February 28, 2013, Pope Benedict announced his resignation, becoming the first pope in almost 600 years to resign from the papacy. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI passed away on December 31, 2022 at the age of 95. Read the full biography of Pope Benedict on the Vatican website.