Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thank you Pope Benedict

"Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation is a selfless and noble act done for the good of the church that he has loved and served for decades. It also shows his great spiritual freedom; rare indeed is the person who can, and will, relinquish such immense power voluntarily. Pope Benedict likely will be remembered as a pope who, in his relatively short pontificate, sought primarily to strengthen the orthodoxy of the church by a variety of means, who authored several important encyclicals notable for their theological depth and appeal and who continued an active schedule of public appearances. He also, despite his full calendar, published three well-received books on the life of Jesus. Never the media superstar that his predecessor was, Pope Benedict, a lifelong scholar, exuded his own brand of charisma, which came from his profound theological acumen and his personal relationship with Jesus. Perhaps his most often neglected contribution to the church was his series of superb Angelus messages, delivered regularly during his public appearances in St. Peter’s Square. His books on Jesus. Far more people will most likely read those moving testaments to the person whose vicar he was—Jesus of Nazareth—than may read all of his encyclicals combined. Others may disagree about my emphasis on this aspect of his pontificate, but in these books, the pope brought to bear decades of scholarship and prayer to the most important question that a Christian can ask: Who is Jesus? This is the pope’s primary job—to preach the Gospel and to introduce people to Jesus—and Pope Benedict did that exceedingly well".
- Fr. James Martin S.J.