It’s an interesting thing when a pope dies, even a pope emeritus. In many respects, they are beyond our daily affairs, and yet they are closely united to us as shepherds and spiritual fathers. When a Holy Father dies, it affects us in ways that might even surprise ourselves. This is particularly true when it is a pope who has influenced our thought, molded our discipleship, or inspired our spiritual life.
For many Catholic Christians, and people of goodwill, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was just such a figure and influence. He was one who spoke softly, but carried a big message. Many a person strained to hear him when he spoke, but they were willing to do it because of what he was saying.
As a pastor and teacher, Pope Benedict always sought to speak the truth in love. He was a man who cherished clarity and spoke and taught in a systematic way. He was willing to hold his ground on theological points when things were true and sound, just as he was willing to acknowledge weak points or areas in need of development in his own arguments. There was no hubris in his spirit.
Pope Benedict was a person completely dedicated to Jesus Christ. From his own experience under Nazi Germany, he held no illusions about political agendas, or social movements, or even inner church camps of thought. He submitted to truth wherever it could be found, just as he argued against falsity or lies wherever it was discovered. No group or school of thought could claim him for themselves.Love for liturgy was the beginning and end of Pope Benedict’s life | Crux