Major Events | Travel

Major Events

April 19, 2005: Elected as the 265th pope. Adopts the name of Benedict XVI, in honor of St. Benedict, the founder of Western monasticism, and of Benedict XV, pope during World War I and a promoter of peace.

April 24, 2005: Benedict XVI is formally inaugurated as pope.

April 25, 2005: Meets with leaders of non-Catholic churches and religions including Christians, Buddhists and Muslims. Receives the delegations present for his inauguration Mass. Makes first official foray into the city of Rome to visit the Basilica of St. Paul.

April 27, 2005: First general audience in St. Peter's Square.

May 1, 2005: Delivers his first Sunday noon blessing from his apartment window.

December 25, 2005: Issues Deus Caritas Est (God is Love), the first encyclical letter of his pontificate.

February 22, 2006: Pope Benedict XVI names 15 new cardinals including prelates from Hong Kong, the U.S. and Boston and Poland.

September 12, 2006: In a speech at Regensburg University, quotes 14th century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel II Paleologos as saying Islam's Prophet Muhammad had brought only "evil and inhuman" things to the world, citing specifically Muhammad's "command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." The comments spark international outrage.

April 18, 2007: Publishes first book as Pope Benedict XVI. The first volume of his work, "Jesus of Nazareth," is published in German, Polish and Italian. It is not published in English until mid-May.

June 10, 2007: Receives President Bush in Vatican City.

July 7, 2007: Pope Benedict XVI relaxes restrictions on the use of the Tridentine Mass, the Latin-language liturgy that predates the Second Vatican Council.

November 06, 2007: Meets with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, marking the first-ever meeting between a Roman pontiff and a Saudi monarch. The two discuss unrest in the Middle East; the Holy See and Saudi Arabia do not maintain diplomatic relations.

November 24, 2007: Appoints 23 new cardinals from 14 countries.

November 2007: Pope Benedict XVI issues his second encyclical "Spe Salvi" (on Christian hope), an invitation for people to engage with Jesus Christ.

January 2008: Vatican suspends scheduled Jan. 17 papal visit to Rome ’s Sapienza University following letter signed by 67 professors claiming Pope Benedict is "hostile to science"

March 2008: Audiotape attributed to Usama bin Laden accuses Pope Benedict XVI of helping marshall a "new Crusade" against Islam.

[Back to top]

Travel

May 29, 2005: Pastoral Visit to Bari, Italy for the conclusion of the 24th National Eucharistic Congress.

August 18-21, 2005: Apostolic Journey to Cologne, Germany , for the 20th World Youth Day.

May 25-28, 2006: Second foreign apostolic journey. Four-day visit to Poland, the homeland of his predecessor John Paul II. The trip includes a meeting with President Lech Kaczynsky and visits to Nazi death camps Auschwitz and Birkenau.

July 8-9, 2006: Trip to Valencia, Spain for Fifth World Meeting of Families

September 9-14, 2006: Munich, Altoetting, and Regensburg, Germany.

November 28 - December 1, 2006: Travel to Turkey. In a gesture of respect to Muslims around the world, Pope Benedict XVI prays in Istanbul 's famed Blue Mosque, his first papal visit to an Islamic place of worship.

May 9-13, 2007: Pope Benedict XVI makes his first trip to the Western Hemisphere, traveling to Brazil to open the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean.

September 7-9, 2007: Apostolic journey to Austria for the occasion of the 850th anniversary of the foundation of the Shrine of Mariazell.

April 15-20, 2008: Pope Benedict XVI visits the United States.

Click here for the pope's complete U.S. schedule.

[Back to top]