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Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr Reflects on Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (Joseph A. Ratzinger)

Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr has released the following statement upon the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

“Please join me in praying for the soul of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who was a vicar of Peter and faithful shepherd of Christ’s Church.

“Pope Benedict is widely known as one of the greatest theologians of the 20th century, but this distinction should not overshadow his genuine personal interactions and humble nature. Those of us who interacted with him can attest to his ready sense of humor and consistently kind nature.

“During my years as general secretary of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the early 1990s, I would frequently travel to Rome, and oftentimes I would see then-Cardinal Ratzinger making his daily treks across St. Peter’s Square from his apartment to his office. He would mingle with the people in the square while garbed in a simple black cassock. There was no indication that he was a cardinal. Often, he was asked by groups to serve as its photographer. This he did willingly and with a generous smile. As far as the group members were concerned, they had just been assisted by one of the local priests – and Cardinal Ratzinger seemed content to leave them with that understanding. I often wonder today if any of those tourists know their photographer moved on to become Pope Benedict XVI.”

Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr will celebrate Mass for the peaceful repose of the soul of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains in Cincinnati on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 at 5:15 p.m.

Upon the death of Pope John Paul II, on April 18, 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected the 264th successor of Saint Peter and chose the name Benedict XVI. He was 78 when elected pope. He quickly realized that the best way to reach the people of God was to go to them and, despite his age,  traveled the world frequently to meet the faithful. On Feb. 13, 2013, Pope Benedict announced his resignation, becoming the first pope in almost 600 years to resign from the papacy.

Further information about Pope Benedict XVI can be found here: https://www.usccb.org/popes/pope-benedict-xvi