Benedict XVI (Latin: Benedictus PP. XVI), born Joseph Alois Ratzinger, is the 265th and current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, and by virtue of that office, Sovereign of the Vatican City State. He was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave, celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005, and took possession of his cathedral, the Basilica of St. John Lateran, on 7 May 2005. Pope Benedict has both German and Vatican citizenship. He succeeded John Paul II, who died at the beginning of April 2005.