Rest in Peace, Holy Father Benedict XVI (1927–2022)
Fr. Arturo Sosa, S.J.: Today we join with the whole Church and especially with Pope Francis in a prayer of gratitude as we remember, with admiration, the personal integrity of Joseph Ratzinger and the magisterial depth of Benedict XVI. We bid him farewell, confident that the Lord will be gracious in receiving him in the dwelling long prepared for those who give their lives to him with generosity.
Pope emeritus Benedict XVI has just passed away. He was 95 years old.
The world closely monitored the situation of the Pope emeritus after Pope Francis asked for prayers at the end of his General Audience.
I would like to ask you all for a special prayer for Pope emeritus Benedict, who in silence is sustaining the Church. Remembering him. He is very sick, asking the Lord to console him, to sustain him in this witness of love for the Church until the end.
Subsequently, the Holy See Press Office confirmed that “in the last few hours” there had been “a worsening” of the Pope emeritus’ health “due to his advanced age.” They emphasized that the situation was “under control, constantly being monitored by doctors.” But, eventually he passed away.
As pope, Joseph Ratzinger took the first steps to confront the sexual abuse crisis in the Church. He was the first pope to meet with abuse victims. He also took disciplinary measures against Fr. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ.
Author, “El Pontificado de Benedicto XVI”
Until that moment Marcial Maciel seemed untouchable.
Back then, convicted priests were removed from public life to devote themselves to penitence. Then, slowly, the sentences became harsher, but this decision was significant because it concerned a public figure known not only on the national level but around the world.
Pope Benedict XVI is known as the “pope theologian” who offered profound and critical reflections on secularization. Specifically, he focused a great deal on confronting individualism and relativism.
However, the most unexpected and surprising moment of his pontificate was his resignation.
His spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, published this reflection five years after the event.
President, Ratzinger Foundation
“Sometimes I ask myself, ‘If he wouldn’t have resigned and would’ve continued his service, what could he do with the strength he has now, five years after the resignation?’ He couldn’t do almost anything expected of a pope. He can’t travel, participate in public ceremonies, hold long meetings or study difficult decisions. It’s evident he did the right thing, that he did the most sensible thing for God and for mankind.”After his resignation, Pope Benedict XVI greatly limited his public appearances. He spent his days at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery. He left only once to visit his brother Georg on his deathbed in Germany.