While the Second Vatican Council gave the Catholic Church a "beautiful" document on the priesthood, "it did not face the fundamental question" of the difference between Catholic and Protestant understandings of ordained ministry, wrote Pope Benedict XVI in an essay published after his death.

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“Today we bury his remains in the earth as a seed of immortality — our hearts are full of sadness, yet at the same time of joyful hope and profound gratitude.” 

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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.

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When the coffin containing the remains of Pope Benedict XVI was carried into St. Peter’s Square, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi was among the 3,700 priests who concelebrated the funeral Mass Jan. 5.

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During his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI beatified 870 people and canonized 45 saints, among them two notable Canadians, St. Kateri Tekakwitha and St. André Bessette. 

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“This man of the Word of God could touch those who hear him and of those who read his writings because it was clear he wasn’t doing theology from the neck up. He is someone who is in love with the Lord.”

Published in Canada

Soon after Pope Benedict XVI was laid to rest in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica, an Italian publisher released early copies of a book by the late pope’s secretary.

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Among the resonances that will expand across time from Benedict XVI’s intellect, character, holiness and humanity is the harmonious clarity he sustained between certainty and charity.

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Few, if any, people in the 20th century thought as deeply about the nature of hope and eternal life as Pope Benedict XVI. Before being named Archbishop of Munich in 1978, Joseph Ratzinger published a theological tome on death, immortality, resurrection, the last judgment and the human destinies of Heaven, purgatory and hell. As Pope Benedict, he wrote an encyclical Spe Salvi (On Christian Hope) based on the belief that Christians know their lives are not empty, that they have an eternal destiny.

Published in Register Columnists

The passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on Dec. 31, 2022 marks a sad close to a tumultuous year, and the end to his life-long commitment to the Catholic Church.

Published in Register Columnists

Fr. Joshua Roldan, the director of the Office of Catholic Youth at the Archdiocese of Toronto, turned 20 years old in 2005, the year the late Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI.  

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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.

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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.

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The person closest to Pope Benedict XVI for the past two and a half years said the most important thing about him was that "the faith he learned, taught and proclaimed was the faith he lived."

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Beginning well before he was elected pope in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI made substantial contributions to theology and Catholic thought through his prolific writing, academic lectures and long-form interviews, say scholars who study his work. In the wake of his Dec. 31 death, Benedict has been heralded as one of the most important theologians of the 20th century, one whose scholarship will stand the test of time.

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