Please offer some insight on Pope Benedict Emeritus

I was having a conversation with my neighbors at our recent Christmas block party. Many are non-believers or of other faiths. The topic was Pope Francis.

Of course they love him, not as the Vicar of Christ, but as a Pop Culture Uncle. As a reader on this site and of Catholic media, I thanked them for this admiration. I also explained that the Pope is still Catholic: against abortion, contraception, SSM, etc. That took a little wind out of their sails. :wink: They still said that I had to be wrong because Francis “talks a better game than the old guy” and approves of same sex marriage. What about :who am I to judge?"

I tried to keep it simple and gave some fact based explanations. Then they took a different approach and decided to say how much better Francis is than his predecessor: the guy that “kept the chair warm” for Francis. :frowning:

Could you offer some thoughts on Benedict’s accomplishments, successes, etc both within the Church and the secular world. This would be helpful for our next “beer” session.


This silliness over pitting PE Benedict and our Holy Father, Francis, is getting old. Pope Benedict was a brilliant theologian and Pope Francis is a Jesuit people person. Thank God that we are all different. The entire world was ready for someone who stresses the Gospels. Benedict is considered heroic and courageous by my Catholic friends for realizing that the Holy Spirit had something else in mind for him and that he should retire. I dont care how the non-Catholic world sees Papa Francis, he seems to be making ripples in our perfect little world. I havent yet met one Catholic who thinks that Papa has changed his stance on basic Catholic stances. If, he has, helped some to think about their over the top superiority complexes, then AMEN!:slight_smile:

It is difficult for all of us, but perhaps particularly Americans, to look beyond the superficial aspects of a person. These superficialities include actions and the most common (and annoying) habit of using sound bites as representational of a whole. Maddening.

This is a very interesting article in the National Catholic Register.

10 Quotes That Prove The Pope Is A Liberal

Don’t neglect to read all the way through, to find out the twist ending.

Hmm… I posted a long rant about how we understand the Pope because we’re all involved with Catholic media, and most people are not.

But, at the end of it, I think I brainstormed a good answer to your situation (and its a situation that I’m sure most of us are encountering from someone we know).

Instead of us debating people and trying to convince them that the Pope is still Catholic and the Church is still the same Church now as its ever been… INSTEAD of doing that, why not play along with their game? Why not say: you know what, yeah I think this Pope is a really great Pope (no need to bash Benedict, just be vague)… and say, “hey would you guys be interested in going to Mass with me this Sunday?”

See what happens. Invite them to Mass. Or, if you feel Mass might be intimidating, invite them to another function that your parish does. RCIA, etc. etc.

I personally doubt most of these people are interested in organized religion at all, they just like that the Catholic Church seems more politically correct, and seems to be more relativist and accepting of their sinful lifestyles [obviously they’re wrong on all those counts].

They want the Church to stop being a Church. Yet, they are praising the Pope… so why not remind them that it IS a Church, and simply invite them to come to Mass.

He’s the best theologian in the 2nd half of the 20th century. Maybe in all of the 20th century and even before that. One thing that stands out is his focus on love. It kinda permeates everything about him.

Under Pope Benedict XVI, the Anglican Ordinariates were finally formed. They allowed many Anglican congregations to come into the Catholic Church as whole congregations. Married priests were allowed in, and they were allowed (actually encouraged) to keep their Anglican traditions… which are mainly liturgical. High Anglicans sing very traditional hymns for instance, and have some different prayers from the Book of Common Prayer.

The Anglican Ordinariates, though small, are a big step towards furthering Christian unity. There is talk of Lutheran Ordinariates being established in the future. So, its really huge news when you consider that 500 years after the Protestant reformation, some of them are coming back to the Church (again, in whole congregations, not just individuals). And Benedict was instrumental in getting this to happen… he even worked on this considerably when he was Cardinal Ratzinger and head of the CDF.

Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.

He is considered by some to be the best biblical theologian ever to take Peter’s seat. Just search Pope Benedict on Amazon sometime to see his body of work.

This is what papal biographer George Wiegel said about him last year: And I wouldn’t doubt that 200 years from now, in the Office of Readings and Liturgy of the Hours, there will be selections from the homilies of Benedict XVI as there are selections from the homilies of Gregory the Great or Leo the Great or John Chrysostom…Read more

Also, see info. on Pope Benedict’s response to the sex abuse matter as collected at Our Sunday Visitor

Pope Benedict and Pope Francis are completely different. I can understand how some people think that Pope Francis will change doctrine, due to his “Who am I to judge?” and his lack of emphasizing Church teaching, as Benedict did.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was a theologian. But, people nowadays don’t appreciate theologians. They appreciate pastors, particularly priests that have sort of a “Protestant pastor” nature. I used to be a Lutheran, so I know how personal and close you can get to your pastor. Your pastor was always there for you, and was your friend. Pope Francis is like that. That is why you hear people saying they are glad Benedict is out and Francis is in.

No one wants to hear a quote from the Catechism or a document of the early Church Fathers. Everyone wants a pastor, and that is Pope Francis.

Pope Benedict is certainly a marvelous theologian but he will not be canonized because he’s
a Theologian he will be declared holy because he performed the most humble and heroic
act imaginable. It is precisely because he saw what needed to be done in the Church and
was humble enough to admit that the work demanded someone with more pastoral experience than he had and the capacity to shake up and wake up elements in the Church
that had become diverted from the Gospel and far to ideological in both directions. Ideology
is relativism which Benedict made the target of his teaching targeting the Fullness of Truth.
There is not a sliver of opposition in ;the Faith Stands of these two men and we must all
thank God for Double Gift to us. Thewre is nothing that Pope Francis is advocating that is not in the Catechism of the Catholic Church - try reading it!

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