Life and Work of Joseph Ratzinger
In February 2013, Benedict XVI resigned from his position as pope.
He himself has defined his upbringing as ‘Mozartian’, growing up in this setting where he received his Christian, human and cultural education. He lived a difficult adolescence but his faith and his familial upbringing helped him to face the harsh reality of the times, during which the Catholic Church was facing heavy hostility from the Nazi regime. The young Joseph was witness to the Nazis beating up a parish priest before mass. In that period he discovered the beauty and truth of the Christian faith; his family played a fundamental role in this side of his life, always providing him with good examples. In the last months of the Second World War he joined the anti-aircraft military services. From 1946 to 1951 he studied philosophy and theology at The High Schoolof Philosophy and Technology in Freising and later at the University of Munich. He was ordained on 29th June 1951. The following year he started teaching at his former school in Freising. In 1953 he earned a doctorate in Theology; the title of his thesis was “The People and the House of God in St Augustine’s Doctrine of the Church”. Four years later, under the direction of the famous professor of fundamental theology Gottlieb Söhngen he obtained a university teaching qualification with a dissertation on “The Theology of History in St. Bonaventure”. After teaching dogmatic and fundamental theology at The High School of Philosophy and Theology in Freising he taught in Bonn from 1959 to 1963, in Münster from 1963 to 1966 and in Tübingen from 1966 to 1969. In 1969 he became a professor of dogmatic theology and the history of dogma at the University of Regensburg where he was also vice-president.