In 1963, he began teaching at
the University of Münster, taking, in 1966, a second chair in dogmatic
theology at the University of Tübingen. A wave of student uprisings swept
across Europe in 1968, and Marxism quickly became the dominant intellectual
system at Tübingen. He had no sympathy with the new radical theology, so in
1969 he moved back to Bavaria and took a teaching position at the University
of Regensburg. There, he eventually became dean and vice president. He was
also a member of the International Theological Commission of the Holy See
from 1969 until 1980.
In 1972, together with Hans
Urs von Balthasar, Henry De Lubac and others, he launched the Catholic
theological journal Communio, a quarterly review of Catholic theology
and culture. It has been said that this was done in repsonse to the
misinterpretation of the Second Vatican Council by Karl Rahner, Hans Kung
and others, as represented by the theological journal Concilium.
On 24 March 1977, Fr.
Ratzinger was elected Archbishop of Munich and Freising by Pope Paul VI. He
was ordained to the episcopal Order on 28 May 1977, taking as his
motto a phrase from 3 John 8, "Fellow Worker in the Truth." On 27 June
1977, he was elevated to Cardinal (Cardinal Priest) by Pope Paul VI, with
the titular church of St. Mary of Consolation (in Tiburtina). In 1980, he
was named by Pope John Paul II to chair the special Synod on the Laity.
Shortly after that, the pope asked him to head the Congregation for Catholic
Education. Cardinal Ratzinger declined, feeling he shouldn't leave his post
in Munich too soon. On 25 November 1981, he did become, however, the Prefect
for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, becoming at the same
time ex officio the President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission,
and the International Theological Commission.
Cardinal Ratzinger was
President of the Commission for the Preparation of the Catechism of the
Catholic Church, and after 6 years of work (1986-92) he presented the
new Catechism to the Holy Father. On 5 April 1993, he was transferred
to the order of Cardinal Bishops, with the suburbicarian see of
Velletri-Signi. On 9 November 1998, his election as Vice-Dean of the Sacred
College of Cardinals was approved by Pope John Paul II, and the Holy Father
approved his election as Dean of the College of Cardinals on 30 November
2002, with the title of the suburbicarian See of Ostia added to that of
prefecture at the Doctrine of the Faith, his curial memberships include: the
Second Section of the Secretariat of State, the Congregation of Bishops, of
Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, of Catholic Education,
of Evangelization of Peoples, for the Oriental Churches; and the Pontifical
Councils for Christian Unity, for Culture (councils); as well as, the
Commissions Ecclesia Dei, and for Latin America.
As Dean of the College he has presided over the College's deliberations
in General Congregation during the Vacancy of the Holy See, after the death of Pope John Paul II on
2 April 2005. In the same capacity he presided at the Solemn Funeral Mass
for Pope John Paul II at 10 a.m. 8 April 2005 in St. Peter's Square, and the
Mass For the Election of the Supreme Pontiff concelebrated by the
College of Cardinals in St. Peter's Basilica at 10 a.m. on Monday 18 April
That afternoon the Cardinals processed from the Hall
of Benediction of St. Peter's Basilica to the Sistine Chapel, where they
solemnly inaugurated the conclave for the election of the successor to St.
Peter, under the presidency of Cardinal Ratzinger. The single vote that
afternoon produced no election.
On Tuesday morning, 19 April 2005, two ballots of the Conclave produced
no election. However, on the first ballot of the afternoon, the fourth of
the Conclave, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was elected the Bishop of Rome and
the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church. On Sunday, 24 April 2005, at 10
a.m. he celebrated the Mass for the Inauguration of his pontificate in St.
Peter's Square, receiving the Pallium and the Fisherman's Ring at that