Tuesday, January 31, 2023

What was Benedict XVI like when he was president of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith?

Before becoming Pope, Joseph Ratzinger was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for 24 years. John Paul II assigned him the position and Ratzinger submitted his resignation three times that his terms had expired.

Ratzinger loved theology, locking himself in his office to study and write. Something to which he could not devote himself one hundred percent, which was once the Inquisition.

alejandro seafres
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
“I remember how many times he said: ‘I want to retire’ or ‘I have submitted my resignation to the Pope’, he must have said it many times and Pope John Paul II never wanted to accept it, because his The desire was to write theology, but at the same time, and this is a very important testimony of faith, he is a man who has given his life and who has come to do a work that is very well accepted by others. Perhaps less than others by his fellow German theologians, and I believe he has the dimension of martyrdom”.

Since John Paul II died on 2 April, Joseph Ratzinger has not returned to the congregation as prescribed by Vatican law. He was no longer the prefect. However, two days before the conclave, his colleagues organized a small party for his birthday.

alejandro seafres
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
“We sang him a song and so on. And that day he said, I remember well, little eyes of confusion that he said: “Now I am finally going to be able to devote myself to theology”, because he knew that as prefect He clearly wasn’t going back, and he didn’t dream of becoming pope. He had great illusions that he would eventually be able to start writing theology. Two days later, on Monday, he was elected.

Just a day after being elected Pope, Joseph Ratzinger, already Benedict XVI, made his first visit as Peter’s successor and took up his old post.

alejandro seafres
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
“I think apart from his affection for us, it was like a dress rehearsal. I think he said to himself: ‘I’m going to try to be pope in a controlled environment’, that’s my impression. Because it There was something very familiar, very cordial. He came here and we all welcomed him very excitedly.

And not only was the visit important, but what it said about God’s plans for him and how he was going to accept them.

alejandro seafres
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
“He said he was brought to Rome where he didn’t want to and now they’re taking me to do what I don’t want to do, which is to be Pope. But we actually saw him as a happy man, As one who had thrown off the burden of his will and accepted the will of God.”

After submitting his resignation, Benedict had time to write and study in a small house in the Vatican gardens.


Nation World News Desk
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