Five things you should know about former pope Benedict

STORY: 5 things you should know about former pope Benedict


Born Joseph Ratzinger, he was the first German pope in 1,000 years

He was elected to succeed Pope John Paul II on April 19, 2005


He then resigned in 2013, making him the first pontiff to do so in 600 years

He said he stood down because of poor health


Benedict chose to wear white and be known

as 'pope emeritus' after his retirement

He became a lightning rod for

conservatives who opposed Pope Francis


The 2012 "Vatileaks" scandal helped unravel his papacy

Paolo Gabriele, his butler, leaked secret documents

that revealed corruption and feuding within the Vatican


He's credited with jump starting the process

of disciplining or defrocking predator priests

He ordered an inquiry into abuse in Ireland,

leading to the resignation of several bishops