THINGS YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT... Pope Benedict XVI the German Pontiff Was Born Joseph Ratzinger in 1927 and Elected Pope in 2005. as You Might Expect from God's Representative on Earth, He Has Several Strings to His Bow

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), November 29, 2009 | Go to article overview

THINGS YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT... Pope Benedict XVI the German Pontiff Was Born Joseph Ratzinger in 1927 and Elected Pope in 2005. as You Might Expect from God's Representative on Earth, He Has Several Strings to His Bow


Byline: WORDS: BENJI WILSON

He's gunning for the Christmas number one

The voice of Pope Benedict XVI features on the album Alma Mater, eight specially commissioned pieces of music based around Gregorian chants. This is the first time that the voice of Pope Benedict, taken from audio recordings on Vatican Radio, has been heard on record. It'll make a change from Cliff.

There is quite a brain under that mitre

On the album you'll hear him speaking and singing in Latin, Italian, Portuguese, French and German. He also speaks English, is fluent in Spanish, can read Ancient Greek and biblical Hebrew, and plays the piano.

Amo, amas, you what?

Pope Benedict is passionate about reviving spoken Latin and supposedly holds many informal conversations in the language. The Vatican Bank is the only bank in the world that allows ATM users to perform transactions in Latin. He doesn't like wizards In 2003, he condemned the Harry Potter books as 'subtle seductions' in letters to a German religious author who sent him her book Harry Potter: Good or Evil?. Coincidentally, two years later, the Pope's book about issues facing Christianity, Salt of the Earth, became one of the few releases to overtake Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in the German bestseller list.

iPope, you Pope, we all Pope

Benedict likes to e-mail, but is not the first Pope to use it - in 2001, John Paul II sent an apology to the Pacific nations for injustices committed by Catholic clergy. …

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THINGS YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT... Pope Benedict XVI the German Pontiff Was Born Joseph Ratzinger in 1927 and Elected Pope in 2005. as You Might Expect from God's Representative on Earth, He Has Several Strings to His Bow
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