Archbishop Zbigņev Stankevičs of Riga, Latvia, a participant in this month’s Synod of Bishops on Synodality, has said homosexuals are called to live in chastity in accord with Church teaching, but credited Pope Francis for what he called his own “personal conversion” on the issue, becoming less judgmental.
Pope Benedict XVI “spread and testified to” the Gospel his entire life, Pope Francis told tens of thousands of people gathered Jan. 5 for his predecessor’s funeral Mass.
Pope Benedict XVI was a renowned theologian, a “recognized authority,” who left “a rich legacy of studies and research on the fundamental truths of the faith,” said the official summary of his life and papacy.
Just before 7 a.m. Jan. 5, the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica was so shrouded with fog that it was scarcely visible. Yet the sounds of German folk music permeated the dense air as some 500 traditionally dressed Bavarians descended upon the Vatican to attend the funeral of their beloved countryman, Pope Benedict XVI.
In what looks like a continuation of pontifical legacy, Pope Benedict XVI was buried in the crypt where his Polish predecessor, St. John Paul II, was first buried. St. John XXIII also was buried there prior to his beatification.
For Peter Seewald, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was someone “who is what he says and what he preaches.” This not only mesmerized Seewald but made him fully come back to the Catholic Church. International bestsellers co-written with Pope Benedict XVI and a thick biography followed.
The death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has brought “a sense of sadness” to the faithful but “also a sense of gratitude … as we thank almighty God for the good shepherd he was,” Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York said in his homily at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Jan. 1, the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God.
Representatives from the world’s Christian churches will travel to the Vatican to attend the funeral Mass of Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s Square Jan. 5.
By their lives, Mary and the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI helped people to seek and to see the face of God, Washington Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory said Dec. 31.
The Jan. 5 funeral Mass for Pope Benedict XVI will be a papal funeral with a few changes to fit with the fact that he was not the reigning pope and has not left behind a “sede vacante.”