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Tags: pope benedict | funeral | prophet | pope francis | father gerald murray

Father Murray to Newsmax: Benedict's Funeral a 'Fitting End'

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 05 January 2023 09:37 AM EST

Father Gerald Murray, reflecting on the early morning funeral in St. Peter's Square for late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Thursday on Newsmax called the service a "fitting end to a very long life, a life of service."

"I was so struck to see all the cardinals there with the pope and the faithful gathered," Murray, a priest in the Archdiocese of New York, said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "It was kind of a misty foggy morning and then the sun cleared as the Mass went on."

Pope Francis, while presiding over the funeral, delivered a homily in which he compared his predecessor to Jesus Christ, as some mourners shouted that the late former pontiff should be made a saint.

Benedict shocked the world in 2013 by becoming the first pope in 600 years to resign rather than reign for life. He died on Dec. 31.

Murray said Thursday that Benedict had never sought the limelight and that he was not a self-promoter, and the "subdued atmosphere" at his services "summed up who he was."

"The sun certainly came out at the end of his life," said Murray.

Pope Francis, he added, chose the gospel of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and concluded with the words recorded by St. Luke, "'into your hands, I commend my spirit.'"

"Pope Benedict really committed his soul to God throughout his life because he did many difficult things that he didn't want to do," said Murray. "He never really wanted to be a bishop, a cardinal, or the pope, but he said yes to all of those things at the end of his life. When he was 85 years old, he said, 'I can't do this anymore, Lord,' and then he stepped aside, and Pope Francis was elected."

It was also a "real tribute" that Pope Francis quoted, during his homily, four times from Benedict's writings, said Murray.

"He talked about how when Pope Benedict became pope, he talked about feeding the flock, and he fed the flock with the Holy Eucharist but also with pure doctrine. In other words, Christ's teaching communicated to the modern age, even though the modern age is not interested in hearing it in many cases."

Benedict was also "courageous," said Murray.

"[He] said to the world, we have to follow Christ," he said. "There is a truth. There is a God. There is a Heaven."

Murray also said Thursday he thinks Benedict's death will increase teachings about faith in the church, as he was a "real prophet."

"He identified where the modern problem is," said Murray. "We're drifting out of reality. We're drifting into the world of ideology and make-believe, and Pope Benedict was very much a realist. He said that the dictatorship of relativism in the modern world means we don't try together grapes the truth, but the powerful people try to force us to think the way they do."

Benedict's writings were also "very deep on the spiritual level," said Murray, and he answered many questions on philosophy and history.

"But for most people, I think they're going to realize that this was a man who wrote from the heart," said Murray, adding that Benedict was a "man who loved Christ, and his writings are very profound. So this is the end of an era."

Meanwhile, it will take some time for the calls for Benedict's sainthood to be decided, as sainthood is "not automatic," said Murray.

"We have to have miracles," he said. "We have to examine his writings and all the rest, but the church has a slow process."

The process was "accelerated" when it came to the late Pope John Paul II, who died on April 2, 2005, and was canonized by Pope Francis on September 30, 2013, said Murray, but Benedict was "certainly a great theologian, a very holy man."


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Father Gerald Murray, reflecting on the early morning funeral in St. Peter's Square for late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Thursday on Newsmax called the service a "fitting end to a very long life, a life of service."
pope benedict, funeral, prophet, pope francis, father gerald murray
Thursday, 05 January 2023 09:37 AM
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