Saturday, December 31, 2022

RIP Pope Benedict XVI

RIP Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger, one of the world's last voices of truth and reason (which means conforming to truth, to reality). Regarding Vatican II: "Not every valid council in the history of the church has been a fruitful one." Hooray for the hermeneutic of continuity. He did so much good as John Paul II's doctrine chief and of course especially as Pope. As I've been saying in this week's long goodbye as he died, thanks to him, for the first time in my life, for 10 years, 2011 to 2021, the Catholic Church worked. I came back to it under his watch. Not even particularly conservative - he didn't have to be - as Pope he set an example to support the high-church liturgical revival using the new Mass, making it look and feel like the old one, "reform of the reform." That culminated in his greatest accomplishment, cleaning up the English text of the new Mass so that it more closely followed the Latin original; no more serious theological problems with it, even without high ceremonial. Some say John Paul II ordered this but Benedict delivered. This kept people in line - even liberal parishes had to teach the faith using the right text; I've actually seen this - the way the traditional Mass used to worldwide. Speaking of which, his second greatest accomplishment was unbanning the traditional Mass in 2007, being fair to it and its young-family followers for a change. His Modernist successor, Jorge "Pope Francis" Bergoglio, didn't wait for Benedict to die to undo this reform; maybe even deliberately hurtful. Oddly enough, although his stepping down did harm, I'm not really angry about that. I'll bet he was pushed into resigning. The only reason I don't call Benedict "the Great" is his mishandling of sex-abuser priests when he was Archbishop of Munich. For all the good he did, he's accountable just like anyone else. Prayers for God's mercy and for his soul's repose - my usual, one Our Father slowly with feeling. And with gratitude.


  1. Over the years you and I have traded comments on the Orthodox/Catholic divide. Our one area of agreement has been that the main source of division is the "scope of the Pope".

    I say this not to further debate but to note that when I was deciding between continuing as a Protestant, swimming the Tiber, or going Orthodox, Benedict XVI was Pope. And did he make Papal Supremacy enticing!

    Had I not foreseen Francis (and a host of Francises possibly succeeding- the history of the post-schism papacy might have poisoned my already tainted protestant well), on the strength of Benedict I won't say that I very nearly became Roman Catholic, but that he made the choice very hard indeed.

    I pray for a plethora of Benedicts in the very near future of the Roman Church.


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