“Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves.”
(From Benedict XVI’s first speech as Pope)(1)
On December 31, 9:34 a.m. Rome time, Benedict XVI died at the age of 95. He was born on Holy Saturday, April 16, 1927, and baptized with new holy water prepared for Easter. (2)
To each one of us, God offers special blessings. It seems that Benedict XVI had already been selected by God’s special blessing to become Pope on the day of his birth and in the holy water that followed.
That he was a God-fearing pope was evident in his many words and deeds as he remained faithful to the Catholic Faith. I think that his greatest legacy consists of three things, namely:
1. He exposed and punished those responsible for sexual abuse committed in the Church.
2. In spite of the impression in most people’s minds that the traditional Latin Mass had been prohibited after the Second Vatican Council, he clarified that there had been no such prohibition, and that priests were free to celebrate the Latin Mass.
3. He brought about the return of traditional Anglican groups to full communion with the See of Peter.
He then ordered an investigation into the dark side of the Vatican: corruption in the Vatican Bank. Soon after, all of the ATMs in Vatican City suddenly shut down. Then he stepped down as Pope. The day after he stepped down, the ATMs began functioning again.
Even after his resignation, Benedict XVI continued to always wear the white vestments which only the Pope is allowed to wear. Also, he did not leave the Vatican, as is customary when a pope steps down. Also, he referred to himself by the unprecedented title of “Pope Emeritus.” What exactly happened to him during his retirement from the papacy is not known, as Benedict XVI remained silent.
I respect Benedict XVI for his courage and faith, because it seems that he chose not to leave the place where God had placed him, but to carry the burden of being a shepherd protecting his sheep, not running from the wolves.
- Source: https://www.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/homilies/2005/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20050424_inizio-pontificato.html (retrieved January 2, 2023).
- . Source: Salt of the Earth (CD). Lighthouse Media, 2011.
- . For basic information, see this link: https://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/05/world/europe/debit-and-credit-card-purchases-shut-down-at-vatican.html
For some more details, see: