NEW YORK (AP) — In the USA, admirers of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI remembered him warmly for his theological prowess and devotion to conventional doctrine. Nevertheless, some U.S. Catholics, on studying of his death Saturday, recalled him as an impediment to progress in combating clergy intercourse abuse and increasing the position of girls within the church.
Professor Kathleen Sprows Cummings, director of the College of Notre Dame’s Cushwa Middle for the Examine of American Catholicism, depicted Benedict as “a person of unwavering religion, deep conviction and towering mind,” but added that he left “an advanced legacy.”
She famous that final February, following a report that implicated him within the cover-up of sexual abuse through the years he served as Archbishop of Munich, Benedict “acknowledged his failure to behave decisively at occasions in confronting sexual abusers.”
Steven Millies, a professor of public theology at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, famous that Benedict – earlier than turning into pope – had a lead position in implementing church self-discipline at a time when the sex-abuse disaster was making headlines within the U.S. twenty years in the past.
“When he was elected to succeed John Paul II as pope in 2005, Benedict XVI was the one who was most educated about clergy sexual abuse.” Millies stated by way of e mail. “But, the disaster continued to fester all through Benedict’s papacy previous his resignation in 2013 and even right now.”
Millies recommended that Benedict’s most necessary legacy was his resignation, arising from “his recognition that he couldn’t repair the abuse disaster or accomplish a lot else within the face of the deeply entrenched energy of the Vatican’s centralized forms.”
Archbishop Timothy Broglio, who heads the Archdiocese for the Navy Providers, USA, and is president of the U.S. Convention of Catholic Bishops, praised Benedict as “an excellent theologian” and recalled how the announcement of his resignation “shocked the world.”
“He acknowledged the nice calls for made from him because the chief shepherd of the Common Church of a billion Catholics worldwide, and his bodily limitations for such a monumental process,” Broglio stated in an announcement. “Even in retirement, retreating to stay out a life in quiet prayer and research, he continued to show us how one can be a real disciple of Christ.”
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who was appointed archbishop of New York and nominated as a cardinal by Benedict, praised the pope emeritus as a “erudite, smart, and holy man, who spoke the reality with love.”
Dolan held a particular Mass for Benedict at St. Patrick’s Cathedral; its bells tolled 95 occasions earlier than the Mass — reflecting Benedict’s age when he died.
President Joe Biden — a church-going Catholic who differs with church instructing on abortion and another social points — issued an announcement evoking a gathering with Benedict on the Vatican in 2011. Biden recalled Benedict’s “generosity and welcome in addition to our significant dialog.”
“He shall be remembered as a famend theologian, with a lifetime of devotion to the Church, guided by his ideas and religion,” Biden added. “Might his give attention to the ministry of charity proceed to be an inspiration to us all.”
Monsignor Kevin Irwin, dean emeritus at Catholic College of America, known as Benedict a “theology professor extraordinaire… a transparent thinker who was a quiet contributor to the church’s continuity after Pope John Paul II.”
Irwin stated Benedict’s resignation left him shocked.
“However, ultimately it was about understanding he was overwhelmed and letting him go,” Irwin stated.
Monsignor Stephen Doktorczyk, vicar common for the Diocese of Orange in Southern California, remembered Benedict as a gracious chief who had the power to construct bridges and foster reconciliation.
“There was this unfair notion that he was there to chop individuals off on the knees,” stated Doktorczyk, who served for 5 years — from September 2011 to December 2016 – within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Religion, the Vatican workplace liable for processing clergy intercourse abuse complaints. “He tried to be a peacemaker. When there was a approach to reconcile, he tried to look exterior the field.”
Others had been extra important, together with Kate McElwee, government director of the U.S.-based Ladies’s Ordination Convention, which seeks to allow ladies to be ordained as Catholic monks.
“For a lot of Catholics, Pope Benedict’s papacy is a chapter of our church’s historical past that we’re nonetheless therapeutic from,” McElwee stated. Her assertion asserted that Benedict, as head of the Vatican’s doctrine workplace and as pope, “orchestrated a inflexible marketing campaign of theological suppression on the query of girls’s ordination, making a tradition of worry and ache throughout the church.”
Additionally providing a harsh judgment was David Clohessy, a longtime chief of the Survivors Community of these Abused by Monks.
“In additional than 30 years as a mighty Vatican bureaucrat – almost 10 of them because the world’s prime Catholic determine – Benedict enabled numerous youngster intercourse crimes and cover-ups to proceed by nearly refusing to publicly expose even one youngster molesting cleric or a complicit church official,” Clohessy stated by way of e mail.
“Along with his in depth energy and bully pulpit, he may have prevented lots of or maybe hundreds of youngsters from being sexually assaulted. However he didn’t. As a substitute, he selected, time and time once more, to facet with ordained clergy over susceptible youngsters.”
The Survivors Community’s management, in an announcement, stated honoring Benedict now “shouldn’t be solely unsuitable, it’s shameful.:
“Benedict was extra involved concerning the church’s deteriorating picture and monetary circulation to the hierarchy versus greedy the idea of true apologies adopted by true amends to victims of abuse,” the assertion stated,
The chief of a Maryland-based group that advocates for LGBTQ Catholics, Francis DeBernardo of New Methods Ministry, famous that Benedict — previous to his papacy — helped form a doc that known as gay orientation as ”an goal dysfunction” and a Catechism describing sexual exercise between individuals of the identical gender as “acts of grave depravity.”
“These paperwork brought on — and nonetheless trigger — grave pastoral hurt to many LGBTQ+ individuals,” DeBernardo stated,.
Related Press reporter Deepa Bharath in Southern California contributed to this report.
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