All the news over the last days about the last this and the last that regarding Pope Benedict’s last days in office caused me to think about who he was and his last day as Pope.
We first knew him as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as he gained international respect and notoriety as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Pope John Paul II. As we learned more about this man, we learned that he was an impressive scholar and author as well as a musician of sorts as his hobby. We learned that he made significant scholarly contributions to Pope John Paul II in his writings including encyclicals and other matters of faith.
Being the successor to Pope John Paul the Great had to be a very unenviable positon. Nevertheless, Pope Benedict found his niche. He has made further scholarly contributions to the world. He, also, continued to make ecumenical outreaches to other faiths as well as to the orthodox. He came to the capital of our country and won us over. And, not to be overlooked but to be applauded, was his apologies to those people who had been abused by the clergy and to offer aid and assistance. That was way overdue and he, certainly, gained a great deal of respect from many including me for this act.
In these last few days, he reported that, upon election to the papacy, one loses all his privacy. So, he thinks that his retirement must be in a form of seclusion in order to maintain a degree of privacy that he will not have were he to even try something simple such as taking a walk in Rome. Undoubtedly, the paparazzi and all sorts of people would surround him. We understand this loss of privacy and that goes with this very public position.
As he retires from his position as our Pope, let us thank him for what he has done on our behalf and forgive him for whatever mistakes we perceive that he made. Let us hope that we will be able to learn from his further scholarly contributions. And let us pray that he may have many wonderful and healthy days in the winter of his life. May God bless you, Pope Benedict!
Now, you know what I think and I would very much like to know what you think about this subject.
Let the light of our Lord shine upon you!
REM (Ray Makowski) Co-Founder, Director and Secretary-Treasurer