Pope Benedict XVI dies at 95


Anna Lucia Arguello, Staff Writer

Pope Benedict XVI was, by all accounts, a conservative and traditional pope who shocked the world with his retirement. His successor, Pope Francis, is more liberal and stirred much more controversy. Even after Benedict’s retirement, his followers invoked his name in argument as the one popularized traditional Latin masses and priestly garb. He brought the Church back to its roots. Benedict died on December 31 in the Vatican, prompting mourning as well as discussion. Many wished for him to get a traditional papal burial, though the honor is usually reserved for current popes. He was buried well, but not in the traditional manner. Many were disappointed but more than that they feared the direction of the Church.  

Pope Francis has a different way of running things. He is more open to divorce and remarriage, acceptance of LGBT people, and places less emphasis on tradition than his more conservative counterpart. His decisions have been subject to controversy since the beginning, and Benedict’s name has been invoked again and again. Officials worry that this won’t stop after his death. Since he can no longer tell them to stop, they may use his name to do things he wouldn’t approve of. Though he and Francis disagree, he would never do something he felt undermined the integrity of the Church. After a few months, things are expected to continue as they always have. Latin masses will continue to be a hot-button issue and papers will be published defending the sanctity of unmarried clergymen. However, now is a time to remember, and that’s what the Church does best.