The Ratzinger Fan Club is NOT a website set up to endorse Ratzinger as Pope in the manner one would a common political campaign. This website was created in August 2000. While we might have our preferences as to who we'd like to see occupy the throne of Peter, the matter is left to the Cardinals under the guidance of Holy Spirit.

Consequently, you won't see us in St. Peter's Square passing out buttons, kissing babies, lobbying on behalf of the Cardinal for votes, etc. To borrow from Catholic blogger Mark Shea: this is not the New Hampshire primaries. To find out more about the Conclave, see the following:

Occasionally the Ratzinger Fan Club receives questions about the Cardinal and this website. These are answers to some of the prevalent inquiries.

About This Website

What are the origins of the website?

This website was originally developed and released around the same time Dominus Iesus was released in August 2000. The Cardinal has often received criticism by critics for taking a stand for the truth of the Catholic faith and this was a way to show public appreciation. It has since acquired something of a popular reputation for being the online archive of resources by and about Cardinal Ratzinger.

This is an UNofficial fanclub, and an informal one at that. Sorry to disappoint, but we do not have any secret handshakes, membership cards, or chapter meetings.

The author does not have any manner of formal connection with Cardinal Ratzinger; nor does he possess personal knowledge of the Cardinal's daily agenda, nor means to relay personal comments to him directly, etc., etc., etc. If you want to register your concerns about the quality of teaching by your priest, catechism instructor or professor, take it up with the bishop.

How do I join the Ratzinger Fan Club?

Consider yourself already a member by virtue of your appreciation for the Cardinal! -- This is an UNofficial fanclub, and an informal one at that. Sorry to disappoint, but we do not have any secret handshakes, membership cards, or chapter meetings. However, we do have a mailing list which is host to the occasional discussion of Ratzinger and various other topics.

To subscribe to the Ratzinger Fan Club Mailing List, click HERE.

About Cardinal Ratzinger

Who is Cardinal Ratzinger?

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger is head of the Catholic Church's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, whose mission is to "to promote and safeguard the doctrine on the faith and morals throughout the Catholic world" (John Paul II). The CDF was originally called the Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition as its duty was to defend the Church from heresy. It is the oldest of the Curia's nine congregations.

Cardinal Ratzinger was appointed Prefect of the Congregation by Pope John Paul II, and has been "putting the smackdown on heresy" since 1981.

Biographical Details about Cardinal Ratzinger.

How do I contact Pope Benedict XVI?

For snail mail, you can write to our dear Holy Father at the following address:

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
Vatican City State, 00120

You can email him at, but good luck on getting a response. =)

Was Cardinal Ratzinger really the Grand Inquisitor?

No. The Cardinal's actual title was 'Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith' -- which was formerly known as "Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition." Pope St. Pius X in 1908 changed the name to the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office. It received its current name in 1965 with Pope Paul VI.

So, while it may carry out the functional duties of the Inquisition, it is no longer known as such -- nor does it burn people at the stake. We just call him 'The Grand Inquisitor' because in the fevered minds of progressive Catholics, the good Cardinal has assumed a menacing status of Dostoyevskian proportions.

Was Cardinal Ratzinger a Nazi?

Good grief. No, Virginia, Cardinal Ratzinger was not a Nazi.

The Ratzinger Fan Club normally doesn't indulge in the muck and mire of such rumors, but you'd be suprised how many people write inquiring about this malicious rumor.

The story that Ratzinger was a member of the Hitler Youth is true. It's a biographical fact that seems to have circulated on many a mailing list, and seems to surface at precisely opportune times when the Prefect finds himself in the media's spotlight. From the way it has been presented, one might assume this is one of those skeletons the Cardinal keeps tucked away in his closet (next to his executioner's axe and the token heads of Hans Kung, Matthew Fox, Leonardo Boff & Charles Curran).

The truth is that as Ratzinger mentions himself in Milestones: Memoirs: 1927 - 1977, he and his brother George were both enrolled in the Hitler Youth (at a time when membership was compulsory), and discusses family life under the Third Reich in chapters 2-4 of his autobiography.

Likewise, John Allen Jr., journalist for the National Catholic Reporter and author of 2002's biography of the Cardinal The Vatican's Enforcer of the Faith, -- supplies the historical details sorely lacking in one of his many articles on the Cardinal ("The Vatican's Enforcer", National Catholic Reporter, April 16, 1999):

As a seminarian, he was briefly enrolled in the Hitler Youth in the early 1940s, though he was never a member of the Nazi party. In 1943 he was conscripted into an antiaircraft unit guarding a BMW plant outside Munich. Later Ratzinger was sent to Austria's border with Hungary to erect tank traps. After being shipped back to Bavaria, he deserted. When the war ended, he was an American prisoner of war.

Under Hitler, Ratzinger says he watched the Nazis twist and distort the truth. Their lies about Jews, about genetics, were more than academic exercises. People died by the millions because of them. The church's service to society, Ratzinger concluded, is to stand for absolute truths that function as boundary markers: Move about within these limits, but outside them lies disaster.

Later reflection on the Nazi experience also left Ratzinger with a conviction that theology must either bind itself to the church, with its creed and teaching authority, or it becomes the plaything of outside forces -- the state in a totalitarian system or secular culture in Western liberal democracies. In a widely noted 1986 lecture in Toronto, Ratzinger put it this way: "A church without theology impoverishes and blinds, while a churchless theology melts away into caprice." *

See also:

Did Pope Benedict XVI really condemn Harry Potter?

Pope Benedict XVI may have said something regarding Harry Potter . . . back in 2003, and not officially (as in his capacity of Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith) but in a personal letter to a German author who had submitted her book (condemning J.K. Rowling's fantasy series) to the Cardinal for his review. The sum total of the Cardinal's reply on the matter, dated March 7, 2003:

"It is good, that you enlighten people about Harry Potter, because those are subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul, before it can grow properly." provides a timeline and probably the most extensive investigation into the correspondence between Ms. Kuby and the Cardinal. Suffice to say the jury's out to lunch as to whether the Cardinal has actually read a Harry Potter book himself, much less the book in question by Ms. Kuby.

For a compilation of reactions by Catholics and otherwise, see: Pope Benedict and Harry Potter Against The Grain July 14, 2005.

Feedback! -- Rants? Raves? Let us know!

I am a fan of Card. Ratzinger too. For many years I have thought he has a difficult job in the church for which he has sacrificed his personal ambitions. He is doing the church (all of us) a tremendous service by helping to maintain the doctrines of the church. Let's all pray for him. and congratulations for having the insight to start this fan club. - Huntington, West Virginia

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I am alos a great admirer of Card J. Ratzinger for many years always admiring his great sense of discernment even in the face of all odds and presure he rarely succumbs! - a reader in Mumbai

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This site is a joke. It is supporting what is in effect a form of extremism. Liberalism is the only way the church will survive (although I won't be at all upset when it does eventually drown in its foolishly outdated morals and laws). Ratzinger would have made an excellent Cardinal 500 years ago. His cladestine views are not suitable for our society. Religious extremism is dangerous. Ratzinger is dangerous. I would consider taking this pathetic site off the internet - stop the indoctrination. - London

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As Karol Wotyla was the right man at the right time to fill the shoes of the fisherman, Peter, so too is Cardinal Ratzinger the right man for the position he holds in our beloved Church. God gives us the people we need but we must pray for them as, like was done to Jesus Christ Himself, there are always the servants of Satan out there who mock and spew hatred on those who lead the Church. Thank you for this site which I have just come across. God Bless you. - Calgary, Canada

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The books of Card. Ratzinger have helped me a lot. I have found an answer to the questions of TODAY - when too often the people who talk about the Church talk only about the questions of yesterday. - a reader in Spain

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"thats all i can say . . . no really its just appauling [sic], i thought the guy on tv was joking when he mentioned this website, but obviously know in a way i feel sorry for you know what.....neve[r]mind" - Scotland

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I'm Lutheran, and as such, not very familiar with Cardinal Ratzinger. However, I was quite impressed with his letter to the decenting Anglicans at the "A Place To Stand" conference. He could do a lot of good in the Catholic church, and has helped to increase my respect for you. Kick the Liberation Theologians out on their ear and keep good men like Ratzinger in authority! It'll do wonders for the Catholic church. - Carlisle PA

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Thanks be to God that He has given the Mother Church this pillar of theological truth and font of moral wisdon in this modern and increasingly anti-Catholic age. The good Cardinal speaks the truth, and Catholics need to acquaint themselves with the truth of their faith -- for their own salvation and the enhancement of the Father's Kingdom. Thanks be to Cardinal Ratzinger!!! May God ever guide his hand, and may his hand continue to guide the Catholic faithful along side our beloved Pope.

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Having been a Calvinist-for-life, well versed in that theology, who was received into the Catholic Church at Easter past, I had prepared by immersing myself, over a matter of many months, almost exclusively in the writings and speeches of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, and did so with growing amazement and thanksgiving. He epitomizes that wonderful combination of "fortiter in re, suaviter in modo." Generally, I have always suspected that any merit is in direct proportion to the abuse it attracts. "What the candle cannot reach, it blackens." -- Ottawa, Canada

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Cardinal Ratzinger is a great man and this site is the begining of the respect he deserves. Lets hope and pray he becomes the next Pope and God bless him.

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Cardinal Ratzinger is a splendid man whose devotion to the orthodox truths of the Catholic Faith are an inspiration to us all.Long may he continue zealously to guard and defend our Holy Mother the Church to the confusion of dissenters and heretics.

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I find it hard to believe in this day and age that incredibly narrow minded people like Ratizinger and his 'fans' continually ignore the impoverished and disempowered of the world in order to satisfy the their insatiable thirst for power.Would you people please grow up and do something deent with your time and your lives.

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A worthy tribute to a great man. Well done!

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Is this a joke? This man knows less about God than a pork quantic theory. Use your common sense!

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I am a fan of Cardinal Ratzinger's writings. It has helped me greatly in my return journey.

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This website is wicked!! Definitely one of the most entertaining I've seen. And the kitsch is just so, mmm-mmm, vunderbar. Long live Prince Ratz. I think the Cardinal would be delighted were he ever to stumble across it.

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This is wonderful! I'm so glad Cardinal Ratzinger is emerging as a pop icon on the net as he already is in seminaries. Wunderbar!

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What a great site! I am a reporter with a Catholic newspaper and . . . enjoy not only the subtle humor of the site but also its effort to honor "the man," Cardinal Ratzinger. We look forward to more documents from the good Cardinal and wish him long life! By the way, I was thinking of naming a future dog "Ratzinger" as a tribute -- I think that it would be particularly fitting for a tenacious terrier!

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Every now and then I would run across these great quotes by this Ratzinger person. I would think, boy that is really right. Go get them heretics Cardinal Ratzinger!

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I feel like I'm home. While listening to the radio Mr. Bill O'Reilly said something so cruel about our pope and our beloved Catholic Church, I was beginning to feel like I was out here all alone. THEN...I found Cardinal Ratzinger's website. God Bless You. I will pray for the Cardinal, for you and for your glorious website.

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Hi! i am a Christian from Hong Kong, China. I have just finished reading the chinese translation of Cardinal Ratzinger's "Einfuhrung In Das Christendum". It is great! and I think this website is great too. Thank you!

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I salute His Eminence, Cardinal Ratzinger, the great defender of church! -- Kerala, India

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I hope that you will continue to do well by supporting Cardinal Ratzinger's action. It is very important so as to Catholic people understand that the Doctrine of Faith is unchangeable. But many people are likely to walk to heresy after having "forgotten" the Truth of the Faith. Thanks for your web site. - A french Catholic boy

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Anyone in this wonderful chuch of our who lives and ministers in the vision of Vatican II knows full well that this man has done absolutely nothing but destroy the Church and the laity throughout his powerful reign. Wonder how he will answer when asked by God, why did you continually close your ears to the voice of my Spirit. - Newark, DE

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I used to be ashamed of my German heritage, due to the many woes the Germans have brought to humanity. Yet one of The Church's Greatest Theologians and (hopefully) saints is our beloved Cardinal Ratzinger. He stands up for those of us who are marginalized by all of the theological abuses in The Church these days. - Perryville, MO

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Love your site! -- It's excellent! We need more men like Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. I would love for him to be elected Pope when that sad day comes when John Paul II can't be with us any more. - Orlando, FL

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