Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

 of the Vatican City State
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

 and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris
Sui iuris
Sui iuris, commonly also spelled sui juris, is a Latin phrase that literally means “of one’s own laws”.-Secular law:In civil law the phrase sui juris indicates legal competence, the capacity to manage one’s own affairs...

 Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion
Full communion
In Christian ecclesiology, full communion is a relationship between church organizations or groups that mutually recognize their sharing the essential doctrines....

 with the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

. He was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave
Papal conclave, 2005
The Papal conclave of 2005 was convened as a result of the death of Pope John Paul II on 2 April 2005. After his death, the cardinals who were in Rome met and set a date for the beginning of the conclave to elect John Paul's successor. The conclave began on 18 April 2005 and ended on the following...

, celebrated his Papal Inauguration
Papal Inauguration
The Papal Inauguration is a liturgical service of the Catholic Church within Mass celebrated in the Roman Rite but with elements of Byzantine Rite for the ecclesiastical investiture of the Pope...

 Mass on 24 April 2005, and took possession of his cathedral, the Basilica of St. John Lateran
Basilica of St. John Lateran
The Papal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran , commonly known as St. John Lateran's Archbasilica and St. John Lateran's Basilica, is the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome and the official ecclesiastical seat of the Bishop of Rome, who is the Pope...

, on 7 May 2005.

In the hour of its greatest success, Europe seems to have become empty inside, paralyzed by a life-threatening crisis to its health and dependent on transplants.

Values in Times of Upheaval, 2005

The fact that the church is convinced of not having the right to confer priestly ordination on women is now considered by some as irreconcilable with the European Constitution.

from Zenit.org, April 11, 2005.

It is true that the Muslim world is not totally mistaken when it reproaches the West of Christian tradition of moral decadence and the manipulation of human life. ... Islam has also had moments of great splendor and decadence in the course of its history.

from "Ratzinger denies Christianity 'superior' to Islam," Zenit.org via Catholic News, March 6, 2002.

That the Jews are connected with God in a special way and that God does not allow that bond to fail is entirely obvious. We wait for the instant in which Israel will say yes to Christ, but we know that it has a special mission in history now ... which is significant for the world.

from Ratzinger's book, God and the World, published October 2000, as reported by National Catholic Reporter.

Our Christian conviction is that Christ is also the messiah of Israel. Certainly it is in the hands of God how and when the unification of Jews and Christians into the people of God will take place.

from God and the World, published October 2000, as reported by National Catholic Reporter.

Deeper understanding of the matter is bound to recognize that the Temple, as well as the synagogue, entered into Christian liturgy.

The Spirit of the Liturgy, 2000

If Buddhism is attractive, it is because it appears as a possibility of touching the infinite and obtaining happiness without having any concrete religious obligations. A spiritual auto-eroticism of some sort. Someone had rightly predicted in the 1950s that the challenge to the Church in the twentieth century would not be Marxism, but Buddhism.

Interview for the French newspaper L'Express (20 March, 1997).

I think we must reflect more on what democracy in the exercise of authority would mean. Is truth determined by a majority vote, only for a new 'truth' to be 'discovered' by a new majority tomorrow?

The Public Square, by Richard John Neuhaus, First Things 1996

How much filth there is in the church, even among those who, in the priesthood, should belong entirely to Him. How much pride, how much self-sufficiency.

At a Good Friday Mass in 2005, seen by many as a statement about the clergy sex abuse scandal