By Promise Eze
Prominent dignitaries and religious leaders have been paying tribute to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who died Saturday in a monastery in the Vatican at the age of 95.
Benedict was the 265th Pope and the first to resign in over 600 years.
His death brings to a close an unprecedented period in recent history where two Popes have coexisted, a situation that has caused tensions within rival camps in the Vatican.
We gathered 10 things you should know about Pope Benedict.
1. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, christened Joseph Ratzinger, was born on April 16, 1927.
2. He served as Pope from 2005 to 2013.
3. The former Pope was fond of cats, pianos, and Mozart.
4. Among his reforms, Benedict XVI made major moves against clergy who abused children.
5. He headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a Vatican department once known as the Inquisition, for 24 years, a position that earned him the nickname “God’s rottweiler”.
6. Benedict held uncompromising positions on homosexuality and contraception. He had strongly opposed liberation theology, a radical movement that began in South American in the 1960s and advocated clerical social activism among the poor and marginalised.
7. On a trip to Africa he dismissed condoms as a way to prevent AIDS. He called gay marriage a threat to humanity, and held firm to doctrines such as no female priests.
8. Benedict was the first Pope to do a TV question-and-answer session — albeit with pre-screened questions — and he oversaw the launch of an official Vatican website and a papal Twitter account.
9. During his lifetime, Benedict authored 66 books. His first book was published in 1966 and his most recent in 2012.
10. As a Pope, he was not obliged to marry, hence, he died a celibate.