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by Nicholas Wylie  •  •  January 9, 2023   

Pope Benedict's lasting legacy

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One of the many things the late Pope Benedict will be remembered for is his profound orthodoxy.

In tonight's In-Depth Report, Church Militant's Nick Wylie discusses the man hailed as a defender of the Faith.

Joseph Pearce, author, Benedict XVI: Defender of the Faith: "I think in history, his life as a whole and then his life as pope will be seen as very important turning points in the right direction of the Church's history towards the restoration of orthodoxy and tradition in a time when it was being assailed from enemies without and enemies within."

Many faithful Catholics are continuing to mourn the death of Joseph Ratzinger — who, from 2005 to 2013, reigned as Pope Benedict XVI.

Among other things, the former pontiff will be remembered for his faithfulness to Church teaching and love for tradition.

Pearce: "He's a man that always fought for the good and always was a champion of the beautiful."

One of the great accomplishments of the 265th vicar of Christ was the establishment of the Anglican Ordinariate.

Pearce: "He wanted to love those Anglicans who desired and believed an essentially Catholic understanding of ecclesiology — to allow them to come into the Church from a land of exile."

Benedict's work in the restoration of the traditional liturgy was perhaps his most memorable action as pope.

His 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum allowed many Catholics to rediscover the beauty of the Traditional Latin Mass.

Pearce: "What he hoped would happen — I'm sure what he prayed would happen — was that when people saw the beauty of the traditional liturgy, they would be attracted to it. How could they not be?"

After Benedict's retirement, in 2021, Pope Francis released Traditionis Custodes, which imposed restrictions on the old Mass.

In a recent interview, Benedict's personal secretary, Abp. Georg Gänswein, revealed, "I believe it broke Pope Benedict's heart to read the new motu proprio because his intention had been to help those who simply found a home in the Missale Vetustum [old missal], to find inner peace, to find liturgical peace, in order to draw them away from Marcel Lefebvre."

Even with the restrictions, Benedict's restoration of tradition still continues.

Pearce: "And I think if you want the final legacy on Pope Benedict and where he stands as regards the goodness, truth and beauty of the Catholic faith were his final words, 'Lord, I love you.' That's what it's all about."

While there are lingering questions about the resignation and final years of his life, there is no doubt Pope Benedict XVI loved Jesus and His Church.

You can find our full interview with Joseph Pearce here.

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