German-born, the future pope was conscripted into the Hitler Youth during the War before joining the Church in 1945. In 1981 he was appointed to a position in the Vatican City and became one of Pope John Paul II’s closest confidents. He was elected Pope on 19 April 2009 following John Paul’s death. Regarded as a traditionalist or fundamentalist, Benedict has suffered deteriorating health and reportedly has trouble walking. He was recently advised by doctors to avoid long flights.
|Pope Benedict XVI checking out his favourite blog; Dinosaurs and Dandelions.|