VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI’s legacy “will final, bear fruit and nourish the non secular lives of many, many individuals, particularly the younger,” his former private secretary has predicted. 

Talking to the Register on the sidelines of a Rome convention celebrating Joseph Ratzinger’s life and hold forth one yr after his demise, Archbishop Georg Gänswein stated, “The legacy of Pope Benedict might be found, it’ll emerge, as a result of Benedict was not only a very actual and truthful particular person, nor somebody who tried to attract consideration to himself, however as a result of he was somebody who tried to serve God, love the individuals of the Church, and love the reality.”

“That was, for him, an amazing and crucial mission of his life and his theology, each as cardinal and as Pope,” Archbishop Gänswein added. 

Archbishop Georg Gänswein on stage at an occasion honoring the life and legacy of Pope Benedict XVI on Dec. 30, 2023. (Photograph: Edward Pentin )

The Dec. 30-31 convention, co-hosted by EWTN, the Fundatio Christiana Virtus, and the Vatican Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI basis, examined the “life, instructing and legacy” of the late pope, drawing on students, consultants, a few of his pals. It came about on the Campo Santo Teutonico inside the Vatican partitions.  

Divine Phrase Missionary Father Vincent Twomey, a professor emeritus of ethical theology and a pal and former scholar of professor Joseph Ratzinger, instructed the Register that, to him, Benedict XVI’s biggest legacy might be his writings. 

Father Twomey stated he has been struck by how a lot younger individuals have discovered, by way of Benedict XVI’s writings, “the important thing to how they are often liberated from the horrible darkness that surrounds us, the place persons are escaping on a regular basis.”

He cited one in all Benedict’s “nice papers” — Christian Orientation in Pluralist Democracy — by which he stated the then professor Ratzinger noticed how all of at present’s issues are “types of escapism” whether or not they be “suicide, alcoholism and medicines, intercourse,” as a result of “man has misplaced the center with an openness to transcendence.” 

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Father Twomey added, “All the issues return to the truth that there’s no religion and so no hope and no love.” He highlighted for additional studying Benedict XVI’s 2007 encyclical Spe Salvi. The papal doc, Father Twomey stated, careworn that “we will’t stay with out the everlasting hope,” and that “it doesn’t matter what we undergo, God is victorious.” 

Remembering Benedict XVI’s experience in eschatology and the Final Issues (demise, judgment, heaven and hell), Cardinal Kurt Koch, the Swiss prefect of the Dicastery for Selling Christian Unity, famous that a part of the late Pope’s theological legacy was that he “defined the thriller of demise and life in a brand new manner.” 

“As Pope Benedict XVI expressed in his final phrases earlier than his demise, ‘Lord, I really like you,’ this summarizes in a single phrase what everlasting life is all about: permitting oneself to expertise the love of God to the fullest and worshipping him in love,” Cardinal Koch stated. 

He careworn how Benedict noticed true Christian hope rooted in perception in everlasting life, the “infinite love of God that wishes eternity for each human being.” 

Benedict, Cardinal Koch recalled, “described this really Christian hope in these profound phrases, ‘I’m definitively liked and no matter occurs to me — I’m awaited by this Love.” 

“The unmistakable attribute of Joseph Ratzinger’s theological considering on life after demise lies on this relational occasion, which varieties the premise for the Christian hope of everlasting life,” he added, noting that perception in everlasting life is “the central second of our religion.” 

Addressing the identical theme, Father Ralph Weimann, a German theology professor on the Pontifical College of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, stated it had change into clear to the late pontiff that “we will solely stand earlier than God on the finish of our lives if we’ve got held on to the reality and remained in love.” 

In demise, Father Weimann, who knew Benedict properly, added, “there isn’t any longer any chance of fixing our primary choice; it turns into definitive at that second,” however because the Lord needs the salvation of all, he additionally “has come to supply us his mercy,” which he shares above all by way of the sacrament of confession. Benedict XVI, he stated, knew this very properly, and appealed to God’s mercy in order that the Lord would “accomplish in him all that he had lacked to do in his life.” 

Archbishop Gänswein instructed the convention that Benedict “practiced what he had at all times taught: to arrange the way in which to everlasting life.” He added, “My impression was that he was going to a pal, a pal to whom he was devoted all his life.”

Reflecting on the centrality of Christ in Benedict’s theology, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect emeritus of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Religion, stated “Joseph Ratzinger’s total Christology and piety for Christ is a singular testimony to Jesus who leads us in our religion and brings us to perfection.” 

Cardinal Gerhard Müller
Cardinal Gerhard Müller discusses the life and legacy of Pope Benedict XVI on Dec. 30, 2023. (Photograph: Edward Pentin)

The German cardinal, who based the Benedict XVI Institute to make obtainable Joseph Ratzinger’s collected works, stated Benedict XVI “confessed throughout his lifetime that [Christ] is actually risen, that he’s the dwelling God, that we belief in him and so know we’re on the precise path.” Christianity for Joseph Ratzinger, the cardinal reminded the viewers, “is just not a idea however a relationship with a Individual, our Savior.” 

Professor Matthew Bunson, a Church historian and vp of EWTN Information, careworn it was “not possible to evaluate Benedict XVI’s theology” with out understanding his friendship with Christ and his emphasis on Christ getting into totally into our lives. 

“Pope Benedict XVI discovered true life, true freedom in Christ,” Bunson stated. “We are actually solely on the earliest days of appreciating his presents to the Church in just about each space of the religion. However his love of Christ, his friendship with Christ, reveals us the way in which of inserting Christ on the heart.”

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Recalling his service as Benedict XVI’s media spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi stated that Pope St. John Paul II is at all times acknowledged as an amazing communicator, however so was Benedict XVI, he stated, but with a really totally different model. His phrases had a “good order” in order that even his most profound statements could possibly be understood, he stated.

Father Lombardi remembered that Benedict didn’t like being interrupted as it could trigger him to lose his thread of reasoning which had a “synthesis” from “starting to finish.” Such a capability to synthesize advanced and profound points and current them in comprehensible methods was “outstanding” Father Lombardi recalled. 

“He was a beautiful communicator,” the previous Vatican spokesman stated. “He additionally had a love for the reality, not solely mental reality and so was in a position to write properly about issues, however to be actually at all times in the reality, and this was the important thing to his service throughout the lengthy story of sexual abuse.” Via his emphasis on at all times saying what was true and being cautious to not convey what was unfaithful, he stated Benedict “confirmed us the precise solution to go” concerning the sexual abuse disaster. “Why? As a result of he’s a person of reality.” 

Archbishop Gänswein famous how prophetic Benedict XVI was in his instructing and writing, and the way he had warned “many years earlier” that when society forgets God, all the pieces implodes. He additionally remembered how, for Benedict, cause and religion had been “the good themes of his life and in addition as Pope,” and the way he noticed magnificence on the service of reality. 

“Magnificence is the little sister of the reality, the fruit of the reality,” the archbishop stated, recalling Benedict’s instructing. “The place there may be reality there may be magnificence; individuals sense that by coronary heart and that’s crucial.”

Father Weimann remembered Benedict’s private character, and the way he “elevated the particular person in entrance of him whereas humbling himself.” This was “a part of his greatness I believe, which proper now the world received’t perceive as a result of we’re all trying on the look.” He stated Benedict XVI was coherent with the “Marian precept,” and the way Our Girl was a “good instance” of being a humble presence. 

At a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica to mark Benedict’s passing on Dec. 31, Archbishop Gänswein spoke of how the Church’s devoted, each her dwelling members and “deceased family members,” are united by way of the Eucharist.

“Within the Eucharist we additionally stay united with Benedict XVI,” he stated, “sincerely grateful to God for the reward of his life, the richness of his magisterium, the depth of his theology and the shining instance of this ‘easy and humble employee within the winery of the Lord.’ Amen.”

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