Compared to Pope Benedict XVI, Pope John Paul II was the Lady Diana of the papacy; a well-meaning populist, bereft of Pope Benedict’s intellectual gravitas.
With his brilliant mind and beatific smile, Benedict XVI was “the whole holy package.”
Via The Vatican Today:
Dismay, surprise, amazement and emotion at the words of Benedict XVI who announced his decision to “renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome”. These sentiments were etched on the faces of the cardinals, bishops and prelates – assembled for the Ordinary Public Concistory on Monday morning, 11 February, in the Concistory Hall of the Apostolic Palace – who heard the unexpected announcement in the Pope’s own voice.
Everyone’s eyes met, a light murmur swelled in the hall and astonishment faded into sorrow. Yet, after the first few moments of confusion, the unanimous recognition that the Pope’s act was a very lofty act of humility made headway among those present – who included the papal masters of ceremony, representatives of the postulations, choristers of the Sistine Chapel Choir, papal chair bearers and technicians.
In a 2005 column, “Unlearned Rabbi Rages at Ratzinger,” I defended my favorite Pope, Benedict XVI, from the insufferable sanctimony of an unlearned Rabbi called Michael Lerner. And in “Benedict The Brave” I chronicled his courage.