Tags: hilary franco | pope benedict XVI | pope | religion | catholics

Monsignor Franco to Newsmax: Pope Benedict's Legacy Is 'Tremendous'

By    |   Wednesday, 04 January 2023 10:33 PM EST

The "tremendous" legacy of the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will be noted by future generations, Monsignor Hilary Franco remembered Wednesday.

"[Pope Benedict] has already left so much for us to meditate on, and his legacy will definitely be understood – perhaps not by me and you, but later posterity will give it a special place in the history of the contemporary [Catholic] Church to Joseph Ratzinger," Franco, who is the author of "Six Popes: A Son of the Church Remembers," told Newsmax's "Pope Benedict XVI Remembered" on Wednesday night.

"I believe that he has really made an impression in eight years of sacrifice [serving as pope]."

Franco said his relationship with Ratzinger, who would become Pope Benedict XVI in 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II, started years before following the Vatican II Council in 1965, when Benedict was simply a theologian who worked for a French cardinal, and also served the other 2,625 cardinals in the council.

"We struck this kind of friendship, you know, and at that time, many of his ideas were just becoming clear in his mind," Franco said. "As a great theologian, he was not used only by the cardinal that he was serving, but he was [also] serving all 2,625 council fathers, plus the experts."

Franco said, despite being recognized for his intellect, Benedict was, at heart, a simple priest caring for his flock and someone who "embraced the world."

Franco added Benedict contributed several important writings while serving as pope, which was surprising, due to his time constraints leading the church.

Current Pope Francis said in a new introduction to a book on Benedict's writings that they were proof of his devotion to God and the church.

"Benedict XVI did theology on his knees," the United States Conference of Bishops reported Pope Francis writing in the book's introduction. "His explanation of the faith was carried out with the devotion of a man who has surrendered all of himself to God and who, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, sought an ever-greater participation in the mystery of that Jesus who had fascinated him from his youth."

Franco said Benedict never sought to become pope and had asked Pope John Paul II to retire before his death in 2005, but through "obedience" to the church, he stayed and was elected to lead.

"He did not want to be elected pope," Franco said. "He wanted to retire, [and] asked John Paul II before to retire, and go back to his small town. Then the providence of God, only by obedience, he said, 'Yes. Alright.' For eight years he went on to do what he did, and it had a tremendous impact on the world."


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The "tremendous" legacy of the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will be noted by future generations, Monsignor Hilary Franco remembered Wednesday.
hilary franco, pope benedict XVI, pope, religion, catholics
Wednesday, 04 January 2023 10:33 PM
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