Admin l Sunday, January 8, 2023
COLOGNE – The Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, said late pope emeritus Benedict XVI should not be judged by the usual standards, at a funeral mass held for him on Saturday.
Many were judging Benedict – whose birth name was Joseph Ratzinger – by his theological stance and above all by his church politics, Woelki said.
Benedict’s teachings had been guided entirely by the belief that Jesus had indeed been the Son of God, argued the head of the western German archdiocese. “For him, remembering and keeping alive this central tenet was the only true reform that our Church needs today,” Woelki said. “All other reforms must come from this decisive reform.”
Woelki is an opponent of the current reform course in the Catholic Church in Germany. The reforms, which have been criticized by the Vatican, would include blessings for same-sex marriages, married priests and women deacons. Benedict died in the Vatican a week ago at the age of 95.
He had many connections with the Archdiocese of Cologne, having taught at the University of Bonn near Cologne for several years as well as having visited the World Youth Day in Cologne several days after his appointment as pope in 2005.