On this day in 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected the 265th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, after the death of Pope John Paul II. He reigned as Pope Benedict XVI for eight years, amidst criticism and controversy, before abdicating the papacy just weeks ago.

For a look at how this transition was covered, dip into the Newseum’s collection of 416 front pages from newspapers around the world, when the news broke.

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The Editors