Late Pontiff “impacted Church through spiritual commitment”: Nuncio in Burkina Faso

Credit: Archdiocese of Ouagadougou

The late Pope emeritus Benedict XVI who was laid to rest Thursday, January 5 in Rome, impacted the Catholic Church through his “intellectual, spiritual and pastoral commitment”, the Apostolic Nuncio in Burkina Faso has said.

In his homily during the Tuesday, January 3 Requiem Mass for the former Pope, Archbishop Michael Francis Crotty eulogized the former Pontiff as a “man of prayer, faith and a great example for the Church.”

“Pope Benedict XVI impacted the life of the Church through his intellectual, spiritual and pastoral commitment,” Archbishop Crotty said during Holy Mass at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral of Ouagadougou Archdiocese.

He added, “Benedict XVI was a man of prayer, of faith and a great example.”

“Intellectually, he gave much to the Church. All the books he wrote during his earthly life have left us a great intellectual heritage,” the representative of the Holy Father in Burkina Faso said, adding that “Benedict XVI continued the great missions of St. Pope John Paul II.”


He looked back at his resignation as the head of the Catholic Church globally, saying, “In 2013, he gave up being pope to leave the governance of the Church to his successor Pope Francis.”

“We have lost a great man,” the 52-year-old Catholic Archbishop said in reference to the Pope Emeritus who passed on in Rome on New Year eve. 

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 to the exercise of his office.

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Widely recognized as one of the Catholic Church's top theologians, the pontificate of Benedict XVI was reportedly marked by a profound understanding of the challenges to the Church in the face of growing ideological aggression, not least from an increasingly secular Western mindset, both within and outside the Church. 

He famously warned about the “dictatorship of relativism” in a homily just before the conclave in 2005 that elected him Pope.

After his retirement in 2013, the late Pope emeritus resided in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, a small convent built in 1994 inside the Vatican City walls, dedicating himself to a life of penance and prayer.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.