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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 April, 2005, 07:36 GMT 08:36 UK
In pictures: Joseph Ratzinger's life
A black and white image of the Ratzinger family, Joseph is far left.
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Pope Benedict XVI (far left as a boy) was born in rural Germany in 1927 as Joseph Ratzinger.
Joseph Ratzinger and his brother at their ordination, 1951
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In 1951, he and his brother Georg (left) were ordained as priests in the town of Freising, southern Germany.
Joseph Ratzinger leads an outdoor mass in Switzerland in the summer of 1952
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Toward the end of WWII he deserted the German army and, in 1945, was briefly held as a prisoner of war by the Allies.
File photo of Joseph Ratzinger, then Archbishop of Munich and Freising
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An intellectual and scholar, Joseph Ratzinger taught at the University of Tuebingen in the 1960s.
File photo (07 June 1977) of group of cardinals, Cardinal Ratzinger is at the far right
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Joseph Ratzinger (far right) was made Cardinal of Munich in 1977 and became known for his conservative views on religious dogma.
Joseph Ratzinger revisits the town where he went to school
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He is pictured here returning to the town where he went to school, accompanied by his sister Maria (second from left) and the mayor.
Cardinal Ratzinger bids farewell to Bavarian believers in downtown Munich before heading to the Vatican in 1981
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He left for Rome in 1981 to head the Vatican's Congregation of Faith, becoming the guardian of doctrinal orthodoxy.
German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger attends a mass in St Peter's Basilica a few days before he is elected Pope.
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A close personal friend of the late Pope John Paul II, he read the homily at the papal funeral.
The new Pope Benedict XVI
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A tough theologian and philosopher, the new Pope is expected to defend the Church's traditional values.

Archive footage from Joseph Ratzinger's life


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