American Catholic leaders are acclaiming the life and work of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, whose scholarly writings emphasized the unity of faith and reason and, most fundamentally, the primary truth of the Catholic faith, which teaches God is Love.
Benedict, who was born Joseph Ratzinger, died Saturday at the age of 95. He became pope in April 2005, following the death of Pope John Paul II, and served until his resignation in February 2013.
A couple of months ago I was in a fascinating conversation with a Catholic colleague regarding the papacies of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, here in the ninth year of this curious era, 2013-22, when the world was living with, in effect, two popes of sorts, a reigning pope named Francis and a resigned pope — a “Pope Emeritus” — named Benedict XVI. We were wondering if the latter would, ironically, ultimately outlive the former, who few expected to have a papacy this long. When Francis’ papacy started in 2013, he was already known for poor health, which has progressively gotten worse.