On 86th birthday, Benedict praised as deeply humble
Apr 16, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News)
“I was…fond of Benedict because he was truly humble man,” Charles Coulombe, author of “The Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI,” told CNA April 15.
“He was kind of shy and retiring, but he was willing to re-invigorate the trappings of the papacy, not for his own benefit, but for that of the office. And that’s true humility.”
The book, released in March, discusses the Church and the office of the papacy, gives a biographical sketch of Benedict’s life, and addresses the reforms which the Pope undertook during his pontificate.
“It’s a good, quick introduction to both the Church and the papacy for those who don’t know anything about it, and it will be useful for those trying to figure out the areas in which (Pope Francis’) papacy will be facing challenges,” he said.
The Los Angeles, Calif.-based author and historian said he was inspired to write it because he considered Benedict to have been “the best Pope I’ve lived under.”
Coulombe is most fond of Benedict because his work seemed particularly to “reflect what people in parishes and dioceses were living through in their Catholic lives.”
While acknowledging that the other Popes, since Paul VI, have had their own strengths and accomplishments, Coulombe says that Benedict’s care for such issues as the appointment of bishops were what “really concretely affects the life of the individual Catholic at the end of the day.”
“Benedict seems to understand that if you’re a believing Catholic, it’s been pretty tough.”
Coulombe described living through a period dominated by the “hermeneutic of rupture” – a view that sees a fundamental break between the Church as it existed before and after the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, and of which Benedict spoke of in his first Christmas address to the Roman Curia
He said that the Bishop Emeritus of Rome was the “first authoritative individual” to address that problem “in which the average Catholic lives.”
Coulombe’s new work, released last month, is available in several e-book formats from Diversion Books for $4.99.