Monday, February 11, 2013



Cardinal Roger M. Mahony
Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles
February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI has been an extraordinary Successor to St. Peter these past eight years, and I thank God for the graces and blessings which have come to the Church and to the world during his Pontificate.

It was my privilege to participate in the Conclave of April 2005 when Pope Benedict was elected.  I recall so clearly his words when he told the Cardinals that he was choosing the name of Benedict because of his fondness for the prayerfulness and the Rule of St. Benedict, and also because Pope Benedict XV [1914—1920] served during a time of turmoil and wars across the world.

Pope Benedict XVI began his Petrine ministry from a firm foundation of prayer, holiness, and remarkable scholarship.  Before the end of 2005 he issued Deus Caritas Est, a letter on the virtue and gift of charity and love among the disciples of Jesus Christ.  Two more followed:  one on hope in 2007, the third on faith in 2009.

His homilies and addresses were so amazing because he was not speaking about Jesus Christ as a topic, but he was speaking about Jesus from a deep and intimate knowledge of Jesus himself.  It was that attraction to the person of Jesus Christ which flowed from all his many teachings for the Church and the world.

Surely one of his great legacies will be a continuing emphasis on the need for all Catholics to exercise their role as evangelizers in the world.  His focus upon the new evangelization will continue to enliven all disciples of Jesus.

The Church will continue to be blessed by his prayer lifted up for the needs of the world, as well as by his writings which will continue to nourish the minds, hearts and souls of Catholics around the world.

I look forward to traveling to Rome soon to help thank Pope Benedict XVI for his gifted service to the Church, and to participate in the Conclave to elect his successor.