As former Pope Bendict XVI, born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, turns 87, IBTimesUK compiles a list of some of his most famous quotes.
Bendict XVI served as a pontiff from 2005 until 2013, when he voluntarily left office, becoming the first pope to resign in 600 years. To justify his decision, he said:
If a Pope clearly realises that he is no longer physically, psychologically, and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign.
The former pontiff has often spoken against homosexuality, which he likened to an intrinsic moral evil.
Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is more or less strong tendency ordered to an intrinsic moral evil, and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.
We must have great respect for these people who also suffer and who want to find their own way of correct living. On the other hand, to create a legal form of a kind of homosexual marriage, in reality, does not help these people.
On freedom, Benedict XVI said:
Liberty isn't liberalism, arbitrariness, but it's connected; it's conditioned by the great values of love and solidarity and in general by the good.
In the name of freedom, there has to be a correlation between rights and duties, by which every person is called to assume responsibility for his or her choices, made as a consequence of entering into relations with others.
A just laicism allows religious freedom. The state does not impose religion but rather gives space to religions with a responsibility toward civil society, and therefore it allows these religions to be factors in building up society.
Regarding his role and the one of the Catholic church, the ex-pope said:
The new pope knows that his task is to make the light of Christ shine before men and women of world - not his own light, but that of Christ.
The church is not a political power; it's not a party, but it's a moral power.
In Latin America in general, it's very important that Christianity not be simply a thing of reason, but also of the heart.