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Benedict's path to top church role.

POPE Benedict XVI was elected Pontiff at the age of 78, making him the oldest person to have been elected to the role since Pope Clement XII.

He celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass on April 25, 2005, and took possession of his cathedral - the Basilica of St John Lateran - on May 7, 2005.

He had served longer as cardinal than any Pope since Benedict XIII and is the ninth German Pope - the eighth having been the Dutch-German Pope Adrian VI.

After a long career as an academic, serving as a professor of theology at various German universities, he was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising and cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1977.

In 1981, he settled in Rome when he became Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - one of the most important offices of the Roman Curia.

At the time of his election as Pope, he was also Dean of the College of Cardinals.

In 1998, he was elected sub-dean of the College of Cardinals. And, on 30 November 2002, he was elected dean, taking, as is customary, the title of Cardinal Bishop of the Suburbicarian Diocese of Ostia.

He was the first dean of the college elected Pope since Paul IV (1555-59) and the first cardinal bishop elected Pope since Pius VIII (1829-30).

The Pope chose the pontifical name Benedict, which comes from the Latin word meaning "the blessed", in honour of both Pope Benedict XV and Saint Benedict of Nursia.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 9, 2010
Words:247
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