|Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI|
We know that there are many people who dislike Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Many Catholics believe that he was harmful to the Church and they have done everything possible to ensure that the whole world knows their feelings in this regard. Some have gone as far as to described Pope Francis as the saviour that the Church needed in order to halt any further disintegration of the Church caused by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
So what does Pope Francis think about Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI? Is Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI someone we should be glad to see the back of?
Pope Francis said, during the press conference on his way from from World Youth Day, this of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: “I love him so much. I’ve always loved him. For me he is a man of God, a humble man, a man who prays. I was so happy when he was elected Pope.”
He went on and explained that when Pope Benedict XVI gave his resignation he saw in this action: “an example of greatness! A great man. Only a great man does this! A man of God is a man of prayer.”
He also told those at the press conference that he thought of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as a “Father”. He explained that having Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI living in the Vatican close to him was the same as “having a grandfather at home”.
There is no doubt that the Holy Father does not share the negative sentiments that some Catholics have towards Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. In fact it is quite clear that he feels exactly the opposite of what these people feel.
Pope Francis should be an example to those Catholics who are trying to press home their particular agenda in the Church by using Pope Francis' fresh style as the means to do so. Pope Francis, like Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Blessed Pope John Paul II before him, is “a child of the Church.” These are Pope Francis' words.
Pope Francis is not going to change but is instead going to uphold the teaching of the Church, just like the popes before him did. Catholics must follow his example. We must obey the Church. We must give up our selfish need to persist with our own divisive topics, like women priests and same sex marriage, which have already been definitively settled by the Church. Instead we must focus on the many important areas that do need our attention.