Benedict XVI Worked to “reveal” God’s Magnificence, Truth’s Beauty, Life: Nuncio in Kenya

Archbishop Hubertus van Megen during the January 5 Requiem Mass for the late Pope Benedict XVI. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The representative of the Holy Father in Kenya has eulogized Pope emeritus Benedict XVI who passed on in Rome on New Year eve as one who set out to reveal the beauty of God, truth, and “the deep sense of life”. 

In his Thursday, January 5 homily during Requiem Mass of the 265th Catholic Pontiff, Archbishop Hubertus van Megen reflected on the late Pope’s theological works and described him as “a prophet of our times”.

“To reveal the magnificence of God, to reveal the beauty of the truth, to reveal the deep sense of life was the mission of Pope Benedict,” Archbishop van Megen said during the event that was held at Holy Family Basilica of Nairobi Archdiocese in Kenya.

The Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya who also represents the Holy Father in South Sudan added that the former Pontiff who died at the age of 95 spent his whole life serving the mission of Christ.

He said that though the late Pope emeritus might have had some shortcomings as a human being, “he was a prophet in the world that is doing its best to expel God from the public sphere into the private sphere.”


“What Pope Benedict tried to show to the world was that God is not a threat to the freedom of man but on the contrary, grants him the true freedom that he always longed for,” Archbishop van Megen who started his service as Apostolic Nuncio in Sudan in 2014 said.

In his homily during the Eucharistic celebration that was concelebrated by some other Bishops including the Local Ordinary of Nairobi Archdiocese, Archbishop Philip Anyolo, the Nuncio also reflected on the theological prowess of the former Pontiff.

“Listening to him was like going on an intellectual theological adventure. He would take you by the hand and lead you through the beautiful landscape of theology,” the 61-year-old Apostolic Nuncio said.

The former Pope, he further said, “would guide you to the highest mountains to have a new and overwhelming view of God and His creation and he would make you inhale the fresh air of the Holy Spirit that will make you feel dizzy at that height.”

The representative of the Holy Father in Kenya and South Sudan went on to describe the late Pope emeritus as an intellectual giant in his own right and that he was exceptional for he was gifted in explaining “difficult things in a simple way”.

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The Dutch-born Vatican diplomat also reflected on Pope Benedict XVI’s life as a lecturer, saying that students would flock to his lectures due to his intellectual prowess, which he said remained with him even during his Papacy.

“During his time as a professor at different universities in Germany, students would flock to his lectures; not only students who were studying theology but also from other faculties such as psychology,” Archbishop van Megen said in his January 5 homily.

He further said that the former Pontiff “was not a dry intellectual; in everything he said, he was always thinking on how to bring about the inner beauty of God’s creation.”

The Nuncio said that Benedict XVI’s theological thinking even during his tenure as Pope was not based on power and position but on “a deep and nearly child-like approach of wonder on the world and its creator.”

Born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, the late former Pontiff was elected to the papacy in April 2005, taking the name Benedict XVI.


This election came after decades of service to the Catholic Church as a theologian, prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal, and one of the closest collaborators of St. John Paul II, whom he succeeded as Pope.

In February 2013, the then 85-year-old Benedict XVI shocked the world with a Latin-language announcement of his retirement, becoming the first Pope in 600 years to do so. He cited his advanced age and his lack of strength as unsuitable for the exercise of his office.

Pope Francis presided over the Funeral Mass of the former Pontiff in St. Peter’s Square on Thursday, January 5. The event that was concelebrated by some 125 Cardinals, had also other members of the Clergy, women and men Religious, members of royal families, Patriarchs, government officials, and thousands of Catholic faithful in attendance.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.