It has been 2 years since Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation. Those 2 years, for me personally, have been a time of great growth and discovery in my own Catholic faith. When Pope Benedict announced his resignation I was shocked (who knew popes could even do that?!) but it didn’t really affect me. I was still tiptoeing around being Catholic and still misunderstood so much about the Church and still wanted to believe, so strongly, that the Church’s teachings on same-sex marriage were wrong. I was still resistant to being Catholic when he resigned.
That is no longer the case, of course, but now as I’ve started reading his writings more I can honestly say, I wish I had been Catholic while he was still the Pope. I love Pope Francis, but Benedict XVI is quickly becoming one of my favourite Catholics even if he is often misunderstood, but, most good Catholics are.
So, here they are: my 5 favourite Benedict quotes
The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in work, in action and in law.
I love this quote. It comes from “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons,”. I feel like it’s beautiful and succinct in describing the Catholic position on people with same-sex attraction. First and foremost, we must always remember that people are not their sexual preferences. All people deserve equality, all people are invaluable, and all people deserver our respect. One facet of someone’s entire person does not negate any of this.
Unlimited trust should only be placed in the real Word of the Revelation that we encounter in the faith transmitted by the Church.
Followed quickly by this one:
“I think we must reflect more on what democracy in the exercise of authority would mean. Is truth determined by a majority vote, only for a new ‘truth’ to be ‘discovered’ by a new majority tomorrow?”
We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as definitive and has as its highest value one’s own ego and one’s own desires… The church needs to withstand the tides of trends and the latest novelties…. We must become mature in this adult faith, we must guide the flock of Christ to this faith.
The ways of the Lord are not comfortable, but we were not created for comfort, but for greatness, for good.
This quote is often shortened into the oft quoted “The world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness!”
Either way, I love this quote. So much. It’s one of those quotes you can fall back on when things get hard and life feels difficult and demanding.
Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.
The infamous Regensburg lecture. He was wise, he saw what people often missed. The legacy of fundamentalist Islam, back to the source, is a legacy of the sword.