VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died. Here are highlights from his life.
April 16, 1927: Born Joseph Alois Ratzinger in Marktl am Inn, Germany, youngest of three children to Joseph and Maria Ratzinger.
1943-1945: Assistant in Germany’s anti-aircraft defense and infantry soldier; imprisoned in 1945 in American POW camp in Neu-Ulm.
June 29, 1951: Ordained along with brother Georg Ratzinger in Freising.
1969-1977: Professor at University of Regensburg.
March 25, 1977: Named archbishop of Munich and Freising.
June 27, 1977: Made a cardinal by Pope Paul VI.
Nov. 25, 1981: Named prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by Pope John Paul II; takes up post in March 1982.
April 2, 2005: Pope John Paul II dies.
April 8, 2005: As dean of the College of Cardinals, Ratzinger presides over John Paul’s funeral.
April 19, 2005: Elected 265th pope in one of the fastest conclaves in history. Choosing name Benedict XVI, he says he is merely a “simple, humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord.”
April 24, 2005: Installed as pope with Mass.
Aug. 18-21, 2005: First foreign trip, to World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany.
Sept. 24, 2005: Meets with dissident theologian Hans Kung at papal summer residence.
Dec. 25, 2005: First encyclical “God is Love” signed. Released Jan. 25, 2006.
May 28, 2006: During trip to Poland, visits Auschwitz concentration camp.
Sept. 12, 2006: During visit to Germany, delivers speech at University of Regensburg that enrages Muslims; quoting a Byzantine emperor who characterized some of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad as “evil and inhuman,” particularly “his command to spread by the sword the faith.”
April 16, 2007: First volume of “Jesus of Nazareth” completed on his 80th birthday. Released April 13.
May 27, 2007: Signs letter to China’s Catholics, urging them to unite under his authority. Published June 30.
July 7, 2007: Removes restrictions on celebrating the old Latin Mass in major gesture to traditional Catholics.
April 20, 2008: During visit to United States, prays for victims of Sept. 11, 2001 attacks at ground zero.
July 19, 2008: During visit to Australia for World Youth Day, meets with victims of priestly sex abuse and during a Mass apologizes for their suffering.
Jan. 21, 2009: Lifts excommunication of Holocaust-denying Bishop Richard Williamson and three other ultra-traditionalist bishops of Society of St. Pius X, igniting outrage. Decree released Jan. 24.
March 10, 2009: Acknowledges Vatican mistakes in Williamson affair, says Vatican must make better use of Internet to prevent future controversies. Letter released March 12.
March 17, 2009: En route to Cameroon, tells reporters aboard papal plane that condoms are not the solution to AIDS and can make problem worse, prompting widespread criticism.
May 11, 2009: During visit to the Holy Land, lays wreath at Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem, says Holocaust victims “lost their lives but they will never lose their names.”
June 29, 2009: Third encyclical “Charity in Truth” signed. Released July 7, 2009.
July 17, 2009: Breaks right wrist in late-night fall at summer vacation home.
Oct. 20, 2009: Vatican announces pope is making it easier for Anglicans to convert en masse to Catholicism.
March 19, 2010: Rebukes Irish bishops for “grave errors of judgment” in handling clerical sex abuse but makes no mention of Vatican responsibility in letter to Irish faithful. Released March 20.
May 1, 2010: Orders major overhaul of Legion of Christ after Vatican investigation determines founder was a fraud.
Sept. 16-19, 2010: During first state visit by a pope to Britain, meets with Queen Elizabeth II, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and beatifies Anglican convert John Henry Newman.
Nov. 20, 2010: Revises controversial condom-AIDS comments in book and says male prostitutes who use condoms may be taking a first step toward a more responsible sexuality.
March 2, 2011: Issues sweeping exoneration of Jews for the death of Christ in “Jesus of Nazareth-Part II.” Book released March 10.
May 1, 2011: Beatifies John Paul II before 1.5 million people.
June 28, 2011: Tweets for the first time, announcing launch of Vatican news information portal.
Oct. 6, 2012 Pope’s former butler is convicted on charges he stole the pontiff’s private letters and leaked them to a journalist.
Feb. 11, 2013: Reveals in Latin that he is stepping down Feb. 28 during a meeting of Vatican cardinals, surprising even his closest collaborators.
Feb. 28, 2013: Departs Vatican City in a helicopter bound for Castel Gandolfo, where he begins his final journey as a “simple pilgrim.”
March 23, 2013: Receives Pope Francis for lunch at Castel Gandolfo; the two men pray side-by-side and Francis insists “We are brothers.”
April 28, 2014: Joins Francis on altar to canonize St. John Paul II and St. John XXIII, the first time a reigning and retired pope celebrate Mass together.
April 11, 2019: In an essay, blames the clergy sex abuse scandal on the sexual revolution of the 1960s and an absence of God.
January, 2020: Contributes to a book reaffirming celibacy for priests at a time when Francis was considering an exception, sparking calls for rules governing future “popes emeritus.”
June 18, 2020: Travels to Germany to visit his ailing brother, the Rev. Georg Ratzinger, who dies two weeks later, on July 1.
July 16, 2021: Has his signature relaxation of restrictions on celebration of old Latin Mass reversed by Pope Francis.
Jan. 21, 2022: Is faulted for his handling of four sex abuse cases while bishop of Munich in the 1970s and 1980s by independent report commissioned by German church.
Feb. 8, 2022: Asks forgiveness for any “grievous faults” in handling of Munich priests, but denies personal or specific wrongdoing.
Dec. 28, 2022: Pope Francis announces Benedict is “very ill,” asks for special prayers and visits him at his home.
Dec. 31, 2022: Benedict dies at 9:34 a.m. at his home in the Vatican Gardens at age 95.
Excess deaths in Canada and most western nations remain very high long after pandemic deaths subside
The numbers for 2023 are rolling in and they show a disturbing trend in most of the wealthy nations in the world. In Canada, the United States, and virtually every country in Western Europe, the excess rate of death is astounding and so far unexplained by officials in any nation.
British health researcher Dr. John Campbell shares official data from the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) and wonders why the media doesn’t seem to notice or care.
From the Youtube channel of Dr. John Campbell.
Migrants hoping to reach US continue north through Mexico by train amid historic migration levels
Migrants stand alongside a rail track as a northbound freight train pulls into Irapuato, Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
By Megan Janetsky in Irapuato
IRAPUATO, Mexico (AP) — As a train roared in the distance, some 5,000 mostly Venezuelan migrants hoping to make it to the U.S. snapped into action.
Families with young children sleeping on top of cardboard boxes and young men and women tucked away in tents under a nearby bridge scrambled to pack their things. After the train arrived on the outskirts of the central Mexican city of Irapuato, some swung their bodies over its metal trailers with ease, while others tossed up bags and handed up their small children swaddled in winter coats.
“Come up, come up,” migrants atop the train urged those below. Others yelled, “God bless Mexico!”
After three days of waiting for the train that many in the group worried would never come, this was their ticket north to Mexico’s border with the United States.
Thousands of other migrants were stranded in other parts of the country last week after Mexico’s biggest railroad said it halted 60 freight trains. The company, Ferromex, said so many migrants were hitching rides on the trains that it became unsafe to move the trains. The company said it had seen a “half dozen regrettable cases of injuries or deaths” in a span of just days.
When the train arrived Saturday, “Ferromex” was painted on many of the gondolas. Local police were stationed around the improvised camp where the migrants had been waiting, but when the train stopped for about 30 minutes there was no attempt to stop migrants from climbing aboard.
Despite violence from drug cartels and the dangers that come with riding atop the train cars, such freight trains — known collectively as “The Beast” — have long been used by migrants to travel north.
The closures temporarily cut off one of the most transited migratory routes in the country at a time of surging migration, and left families like Mayela Villegas’ in limbo.
Villegas, her partner and their six children had spent three days sleeping on the concrete ground surrounded by masses of other migrants. Before boarding the train, the Venezuelan family said they had packed food for only a few days of train rides and struggled to feed their kids.
”The more days we are here, the less food we have. Thankfully people here have helped us, have given us bread,” Villegas said. “We’re sleeping here because we don’t have anything to pay for a room or hotel. We don’t have the funds.”
The halting of the train routes also underscores the historic numbers of people heading north in search of a new life in the United States, and the dilemma it poses for countries across the Americas as they struggle to cope with the sheer quantities of migrants traversing their territories.
When several thousand migrants crossed into Eagle Pass, Texas, over a few days the border town declared an emergency.
In August, the U.S. Border Patrol made 181,509 arrests at the Mexican border, up 37% from July but little changed from August 2022 and well below the high of more than 220,000 in December, according to figures released Friday.
It reversed a plunge in the numbers after new asylum restrictions were introduced in May. That comes after years of steadily rising migration levels produced by economic crisis and political and social turmoil in many of the countries people are fleeing.
Once, just dozens of migrants from Central American countries would pass through Irapuato by train each day, said Marta Ponce, a 73-year-old from who has spent more than a decade providing aid to those who travel the tracks running through her town.
Now, that number often reaches the thousands.
“We once thought that 50 or 60 people was massive, now it’s normal,” Ponce said. “It has grown a lot, a lot, a lot.”
And migrants come from all over. Ponce noted that Venezuelan migrants fleeing economic crisis in their country are in the overwhelming majority, but she’s seen people from around the world, including African nations, Russia and Ukraine.
Most travel through the Darien Gap, a dayslong trek across the rugged Colombia-Panama border. The crossing was once so dangerous that few dared to attempt it, but now so many migrants flood through its dense jungles that it’s rapidly become a migratory highway similar to the trains winding through Mexico.
Crossings of the Darien Gap have shot up so much they could approach 500,000 people this year alone.
Villegas, whose family spent three days in Irapuato waiting for the train, was among many who saw the Darien Gap as an opportunity. The family was among 7.7 million people to leave Venezuela in recent years, and spent three years in neighboring Colombia.
The family was able to set up a small barbershop business on the fringes of the Colombia’s capital, but rising xenophobia and low pay left the family of eight struggling to scrape by.
This summer, when a gang threatened them for not paying extortion money, Villegas and her partner, 32-year-old Yorver Liendo, decided it was time to go to the U.S. For them, the dangers are worth it if it means a change for their children, who ate yogurt out of plastic bottles and snuggled together on the ground.
“It’s the country of a thousand opportunities, and at least my kids are still small. They can keep studying, and have a better quality of life,” Liendo said.
But it’s not just Ferromex that has been overwhelmed by the crush of people. Regional governments have also struggled with what to do.
Colombia, which has taken on the brunt of the exodus from Venezuela, has long called on the international community for aid. Panama and Costa Rica, meanwhile, have tightened migratory restrictions and demanded that something be done about hundreds of thousands of people passing through the Darien Gap.
Panama even launched a campaign dubbed “Darien is a jungle, not a highway.”
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has pushed Mexico and Central American nations to control migratory flows and now requires asylum seekers to register through an app known as CBP One.
On Thursday, the Biden administration announced it would grant temporary protected status to nearly a half million more Venezuelans already in the country.
Meanwhile, activists like Ponce say they expect migration along the train line to grow.
As bleary-eyed migrants climbed onto the train early Saturday morning, they cheered as the train picked up speed and continued them on their winding route north.
Brownstone Institute2 days ago
Yes, You Are Being Manipulated
Alberta2 days ago
Alberta is getting serious about nuclear power
Bruce Dowbiggin2 days ago
Celebrity Owners– Fun, Yes, But The Equity Is Even Better
Bruce Dowbiggin2 days ago
If You Don’t Hear From Me, It’s Because I Don’t Hear From You.
Red Deer2 days ago
The Red Deer Polytechnic Alumni Association is inviting you to Palate: A Taste of Local
Red Deer2 days ago
New Chiefs logo for Red Deer Minor Hockey designed with guidance of indigenous leaders
Community2 days ago
Shelly Flint Appointed as New CEO of Westerner Park
Brownstone Institute2 days ago
The Covid Narrative Flunked the Critical Thinking Test