“His resignation was not an act of cowardice”: Monsignor Ortiz on Benedict XVI

After the death of Pope emeritus Benedict XVI an endless line of faithful crosses the Basilica of San Pedro to say goodbye to his remains in the midst of a silence full of reverence. Monsignor Octavio Ruiz spoke in Mornings Blu about his closeness to the late pontiff emeritus, how he remembers him and the legacy of the German.

“We must remember him as a man who wanted to point out the fidelity to the Church , the deepening in the gospel, he wanted to make us know the figure of Jesus in a simple way with great depth and that all people could understand him… a man of a simplicity, of a closeness with people despite being a bit shy and of not liking large public demonstrations,” he said.

In addition, he said that he felt very privileged to have met Cardinal Ratzinger in 1984 when he arrived in Colombia for a meeting and requested the services of a priest.

“I had the chance to work with him in those days and later he asked me if I could go to Rome to be part of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of Faith. And I was there for 11 years, I can say that he was a respectful man,” he said.

The Colombian religious spoke about the ideas of the high priest and how sought to revolutionize the Catholic Church with his decisions and the legacy he wanted to leave with his papacy.

“The problem that existed was a certain ambiguity with Marxist ideas that came to distort the liberation theory. There was real research done on that theory…There was no need to turn to the poor with a certain assistance, but to a vocation of faith, with a testimony of the Christian faith. It must be borne in mind that he was a man of profound authenticity. He never aspired to the papacy, he was already over 75 when he was elected, what he aspired to was to continue his role as a theologian,” he said.

The monsignor spoke of the causes of the step aside in the Catholic Church, unique decision in the history of the institution and, about his position on various religious issues.

“When he was elected, he considered it a call from the Lord. And when he resigned, he felt that he did not have enough strength to take on all the problems that had been generated from different fields. He, being aware that his strength was not enough to face this, wanted someone to come to continue what he had started, on issues such as the Vatican’s finances and pedophilia, in which he always believed that firm action had to be taken…He was a man of a very deep spirituality. His resignation was not an act of cowardice, he wanted to serve the Church in another way, much more discreet,” he said.

He also spoke of the possible departure of the current pontiff, the Pope Franciscowho has stated on several occasions that his health problems have prevented him from carrying out his activities in the best way.

“When the papacy is renounced, the position is not lost, but its jurisdiction. It is very probable that Pope Benedict has opened the doors to that possibility, to resign from the papacy. We will have to see what Francisco he has the strength to continue, because when he chooses it is until death”, he emphasized.

Finally, Monsignor Ortiz referred to What will the funeral of the deceased pope emeritus be like? and he told the details of which diplomatic figures are going to fire Joseph Ratzinger.

“Pope Benedict asked that it be a very simple funeral, there will not be official representations of all nations, only from Italy and Germany… St. Peter’s Square will be very crowded, and sSurely many nations will want to express their memory for all that Benedict did for the Church”, he indicated.

Listen to the full interview:

“His resignation was not an act of cowardice”: Monsignor Ortiz on Benedict XVI