Pope Benedict Led 'A New Evangelization,' DeSales Priest Says
Pope Benedict XVI's decision to resign a shock to all but those who know him, says the Rev. Thomas Dailey, director of the Salesian Center for Ethics at DeSales University.
Pope Benedict XVI's decision to resign Feb. 28 sent shockwaves around the world.
"It’s not your usual retirement," said the Rev. Thomas Dailey, director of the Salesian Center for Ethics at DeSales University. "The last pope to resign was in 1245, when Pope Celestine V decreed, after just five months in office, that it is permissible for a pope to resign and did so."
A more recent "retirement" occurred in 1415, but under duress, explained Dailey.
Dailey feels Pope Benedict will leave a legacy of deep intellectualism and return to Catholic doctrine. "This is a man with a great mind. He combined that great working mind with his faith."
Included in his legacy with be the "Year of Faith," an initiative of Pope Benedict's described by Dailey as "a new evangelization" of the Catholic Church. "Traditional missions bring the message of Christ to those who haven't heard of him yet. This mission is to renew the message to all Christians, of all denominations."
Pope Benedict's announcement came on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes, a celebration of the miracle of healing the sick that took place in Lourdes, France. "By announcing today, I think he's drawing attention not just to his physical health but his intellectual health and his stamina. I think that by making this declaration today, he's calling the world's attention that the lack of vigorous health is part of the human experience," Dailey said.
When asked about whether Pope Benedict "modernized the church," Dailey gave a mixed answer. "It depends on what you mean. He has a website, he's on Twitter, so in that way yes. Otherwise, quite frankly, no. No pope takes his direction from the way the world works."