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Good-Bye to Benedict

Fr Dwight Longenecker - published on 02/11/13

Benedict’s departure has all the grace and surprise of his entire career. I once met him in the middle of St Peter’s Square. On a visit to Rome I was standing as a tourist gazing at the facade of the great basilica when I noticed a prelate clad in a cassock with a dark overcoat on top. He wore a simple black beret and carried a briefcase as we walked across to the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. I recognized him, nodded and said good morning. He nodded back politely, smiled his gentle smile and continued on his way.
When he took up the mantle of Peter he explained that he was just a simple laborer in the Lord’s vineyard. His papacy has been one of intelligence, personal warmth and an authentic faith. Now it is as if he is saying to the world what he indicated to me that morning. He is giving us a polite and warm smile, nodding affirmation to us and then going quietly on his way.
Fr Dwight Longenecker is the author of The Gargoyle Code–a Screwtape Letters type book for Lent. Connect with his blog and browse his books and be in touch at
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Pope Benedict XVI
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