Pope Benedict’s Priesthood Milestone Given Underwhelming Commemoration by Vatican| National Catholic Register

At age 94 and increasingly frail, it is quite possible that we will not hear from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI again. The 70th anniversary of his priestly ordination passed quietly in Rome on June 29, the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul. There was no public appearance, not even a photograph. Benedict, no longer able to stand long enough to celebrate the Holy Mass, concelebrates from his wheelchair with his personal secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein. As an anniversary gift, choristers who long ago had sung in the Regensburg cathedral boys came to the Mater Ecclesiae residence to sing for Benedict. That choir had been led for decades by Benedict’s late brother, Father Georg Ratzinger. But that was it. A private liturgical gallery put on a small exhibition of items from Benedict’s long priestly life. The Holy See press office took no notice of the anniversary. It was not even included in the weekly preview of events that customarily includes anniversaries of all kinds, including this week the 14th anniversary of Benedict’s 2007 letter to Catholics in China. Pope Francis did not make a public visit to Benedict, and there was no papal letter of appreciation as St. John Paul II sent for Ratzinger’s 50th anniversary in 2001. In his Peter and Paul Angelus address, Pope Francis added a few lines of gratitude in the section usually reserved for short comments on the news. The words for Benedict followed congratulations to L’Osservatore Romano for its 160th anniversary. The underwhelming observance in the Vatican was striking, given the usual prominence it gives to anniversaries. No one elected pope has ever been a priest for 70 years; Pope Francis would have to live to be 103 to complete seven decades. John Paul did not make 60 years.

Pope Benedict’s Priesthood Milestone Given Underwhelming Commemoration by Vatican| National Catholic Register

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