Pope emeritus Benedict XVI or Josef Ratzinger has today broken the record of the oldest church prince in history.
That record was held by Pope Leo XIII who ruled the Church in the 19th century. Benedict XVI stepped down in 2013.
Benedict XVI is 93 years old and almost five months old. He may have resigned in 2013, but he still lives in the Vatican.
He is weakened and is often seen in a wheelchair. In June he had briefly travelled to his hometown in the German state of Bavaria to say goodbye to his older brother Georg. He died shortly afterwards.
Benedict thus breaks Pope Leo XIII’s previous record. He died in 1903 when he was 93 years old. However, this Pope is best known for his encyclical Rerum Novarum.
It was about workers ‘rights and is considered to be the foundation of the social doctrine of the Church and the Christian workers’ movement.
Ratzinger is undoubtedly not the longest-reigning Pope. He was elected in 2005 as the successor to John-Paul II when he was already 78. He resigned in 2013, and he said because he was too tired.
It was the first time since 1415 that another pope had resigned. Benedict was then given the title of Pope Emeritus. The current Pope Francis subsequently succeeded him.