Important events in the papacy of Benedict XVI

Catholic News Service

April 19, 2005: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, 78, elected pope and takes the name Benedict XVI.

Dec. 22, 2005: In a meeting with top aides at the Vatican, Pope Benedict insists the teaching of the Second Vatican Council must be read in continuity with the church's tradition.

Sept. 12, 2006: In a speech about faith and reason at the University of Regensburg, Germany, Pope Benedict cites a historical criticism of violence in Islam, setting off consternation and protests.

Nov. 30, 2006: Pope Benedict stands with Muslim leader in Turkey's Blue Mosque; says he prayed that God would help all believers see each other as brothers and sisters.

April 16, 2007: The first of what would be a three-volume work, "Jesus of Nazareth," by Pope Benedict goes on sale and is an immediate commercial success.

May 27, 2007: In a letter to Chinese Catholics, Pope Benedict criticizes government restrictions on religion and urges reconciliation among the country's Catholic communities.

July 7, 2007: Pope Benedict issues an apostolic letter, "Summorum Pontificum," permitting wider use of the pre-Vatican II Mass.

April 15-20, 2008: Pope Benedict visits Washington, New York and the United Nations, meets victims of clerical sex abuse for first time.

July 12-21, 2008: Pope Benedict travels to Sydney for World Youth Day.

Jan. 21, 2009: With Pope Benedict's approval, the Vatican issues a letter lifting the excommunication of four traditionalist bishops belonging to the Society of St. Pius X to clear the way for reconciliation talks with the group.

May 8-15, 2009: Pope Benedict travels to Jordon, Israel and Palestinian territories.

Nov. 4, 2009: With the apostolic constitution "Anglicanorum coetibus," Pope Benedict establishes personal ordinariates for Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church.

July 15, 2010: With the approval of Pope Benedict, the Vatican releases streamlined procedures for handling accusations of clerical sexual abuse and removing those found guilty from the priesthood.

May 1, 2011: Pope Benedict beatifies Pope John Paul II.

March 23-28, 2012: Pope Benedict visits Mexico and Cuba.

Dec. 22, 2012: After nearly a year of Vatican scandal over leaked documents and the papal butler being convicted of theft, Pope Benedict visits the butler in jail and pardons him.

Feb. 11, 2013: Pope Benedict informs a group of cardinals that he will resign effective Feb. 28.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 1970