Arguably essentially the most incendiary problem Benedict confronted upon turning into pope was the continuing fallout from the sexual abuse of youngsters by Catholic monks, in addition to accusations of a cover-up effort on the a part of church administration.

When Benedict turned pope in 2005, the Catholic Church was within the midst of a really public reckoning with its historical past of intercourse abuse — a disaster about which he was very properly knowledgeable. In 2001, John Paul II empowered the CDF to centralize all investigations into abuse allegations, eradicating that energy from native dioceses after it turned clear that they usually didn’t take motion towards predator monks. As the top of the CDF, then-cardinal Ratzinger labored to determine new procedures for reporting and punishing clergy accused of sexual abuse.

As pope, Benedict repeatedly spoke out towards the church’s legacy of kid intercourse abuse, apologized to victims, and defrocked a whole lot of monks who had been discovered responsible. Nonetheless, for a lot of, his actions fell quick, partially as a result of he didn’t make public the Vatican’s investigations into abuse accusations — an absence of transparency that enabled dioceses to maintain these accusations secret from parishioners and regulation enforcement authorities.

“In the Church’s entire history, no one knew more but did less to protect kids than Benedict,” the Survivors Community of These Abused by Clergymen (SNAP) stated in an announcement in 2013, in response to the pope emeritus’s public declare that he didn’t interact in a ‘cover-up’ of clerical abuse. “As head of CDF, thousands of cases of predator priests crossed his desk. Did he choose to warn families or call police about even one of those dangerous clerics? No. That, by definition, is a cover up.”

Rumors of corruption and secret cabals within the Holy See additionally plagued Benedict’s tenure as pope, culminating within the “Vatileaks” scandal in 2012.

On Feb. 10, 2013, Benedict shocked the world by asserting his resignation from the papacy. “After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,” he stated in his official assertion.

His resolution to retire was later dramatized within the 2019 movie The Two Popes, during which Benedict was portrayed by Anthony Hopkins, who was nominated for an Oscar for his efficiency.

As pope emeritus, Benedict made a acutely aware effort to remain out of the general public eye. He apparently disliked being identified by such a lofty title following his resignation and requested others to name him merely “Father Benedict.” He did, nevertheless, make public appearances at occasions of theological significance, such because the Canonization Mass of Pope John XIII and Pope John Paul II on April 27, 2014.

On Sept. 4, 2020, on the age of 93 years, 4 months, and 19 days, Benedict turned the longest-living pope in historical past.