I want to thank Pope Benedict XVI for his wonderful papacy, and his honorable and humble service to the church. Pope Benedict spent a short time in the Chair of St. Peter (2005 – 2013), but will have a lasting impact on the future of the Roman Catholic Church. I think he will be remembered as a one of the greatest theologians through his writings, and for his continued work to see the reforms of Vatican II come to fruition. It was wonderful to see Pope Benedict embrace Catholic New Media (podcasts, apps, blogs, Twitter) and promote its use to live a Gospel Life. I pray that the next Pope will be as forward thinking as Pope Benedict, and will continue to work toward the fulfillment of Vatican II.
Highlights of Pope Benedict XVI’s Pontificate (2005 – 2013):
- Travelled on 24 trips to six continents outside Italy in his eight years as pope. Pope John Paul II made 104 trips over a 27-year span.
- Cannonized 44 saints
- Declared two Doctors of the Chuch: Hildegard of Bingen & John of Avila
- Wrote three encyclicals:
- Deus Caritas Est (Latin for “God is Love”)
- Spe Salvi (“Saved by Hope”)
- Caritas in Veritate (“Love in Truth”)
- Wrote three books: ["The Jesus Trilogy"]
- Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration (2007)
- Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem To The Resurrection (2011)
- Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives (2012)
- Efforts with eccumenism in meetings with many Christian faiths and begins a Ordinariate for the Anglicans.
- Meetings with many other faiths including Judaism, Islam, and Tibetan Buddhism. Pope Bendict brought together one of the largest gatherings of faiths together in Assisi, Italy for the 25th Anniversary of World Day of Peace.
- Updated the English Language Mass to a more accurate translation from original texts.
- Approved use of Tridentine Mass (Latin High Mass)
- Approved new YouCat [Youth Catechism] that was released at World Youth Day in Spain (2010)
- Strong advocate against sex abuse scandles in church and helping to begin healing process in Roman Catholic Church and communities.
- Strong advocate to begin reforms in Roman Curia.
- Jan 2012, BXVI founds Science and Faith Foundation to search for a “coherent vision of society, culture and the human being”
- First Pope to use social media and opening Twitter account @Pontifex on Dec. 12, 2012 (Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron of New Evangelization)
- Historic move to resign papacy on February 28, 2013–very humble and wise decision made by Pope Benedict that was widely admired throughout the world.
Pope Benedict has much to be proud of in all the work he accomplished in such a short time. We will be benefitting from his wealth of work and knowledge for many years to come. I recently heard Cardinal Dolan saying that we are still unpacking all the spiritual wisdom from Pope John Paul II, and we still have much to learn from Pope Benedict and his many writings as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
A nun was recently saying that she believes that Pope Benedict has much still to contribute, and he may actually have more impact on the world when he turns his life to prayer. We will probably never know our impacts to the world with prayer until we go to heaven, but bet that the nun is correct in her thoughts about his great influence with prayer.
Father Barron recorded a great video in speaking about the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI:
I pray for Pope Bendict’s continued health, and pray that the Holy Spirit helps guide the Conclave of Cardinals in their decision on the next Bishop of Rome for the Chair of St. Peter. Your comments and prayers for Pope Benedict and the Conclave are very welcome!
The Best Moments of Pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI (Rome Reports):