Benedictus PP. XVI
Today is Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s birthday. He was born on April 16, 1927 in Marktl am Inn, Germany. He is from Bavaria, which is also where my German family is from. He was ordained into the priesthood on June 29, 1951 by Michael Cardinal von Faulhaber, a known critic of the Nazi regime. He was consecrated as Archbishop of Munich and Freising by Mons. Josef Stangl on May 29, 1977. Later that year he was made Cardinal by Blessed Paul VI. He was later appointed by Saint John Paul II as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith which he led for two decades. He has gained a reputation as a great theologian known for his deeply theological writings both as Prefect and as Supreme Pontiff.
One of the biggest criticisms of the former Pope is that he allegedly covered up for the bishops and priests involved in the sex scandals. For those haters, they should look at this article: http://www.dw.de/pope-benedict-removed-400-priests-accused-of-abuse/a-17371452.
He was known as a bridge builder between the various rites of the Church and even bringing new members into the Church. He brought in a significant number of Anglo-Catholics through his motu proprio Coetibus Anglicanorum. He has greatly improved relations with the Society of Saint Pius X, even lifting the excommunications of its bishops, Mons. Richard Williamson, Mons. Bernard Fellay, Mons. Alfonso de Galarreta and Mons. Bernard Tissier de Mallerais. He gave Catholics more freedom to celebrate Holy Mass in the traditional Latin rite without the bishop’s consent in his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. He has brought many Sedevacantist groups into reconciliation with the Holy See such as the Religious Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen.
Of the recent Popes I affiliate most with him: we have a love of orthodoxy, theology and fine liturgy. For his birthday I wish to say, “Prost zum Geburtstag!”