“Herr Doktor Professor”

Pope Francis (L) is seen meeting with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery at the Vatican, on December 23, 2013 (Osservatore Romano/AFP/File)

Pope Francis (L) is seen meeting with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery at the Vatican, on December 23, 2013 (Osservatore Romano/AFP/File)

February 11 marks the first anniversary of the announcement of the resignation of His Holiness, Benedict XVI. I’ve recounted before that the last time I saw him in person — December 31, 2012 — he appeared frail and tired. But recent — albeit brief — public glimpses of the Pope Emeritus in recent months give cause for celebration, because he at least looks more robust and energetic. I’m glad that — according to this article — the “Panzerkardinal” and “God’s Rottweiler” labels have evaporated, although we gradually saw less and less of that after 2005. He was — and is — the gentlest Rottweiler I’ve ever seen. Regarding his retirement, he says, “I live like a monk. I pray and I read. I am well.” I will add that I pray he does so for a very long time, like, if possible, as long as Abraham, or at least Bilbo Baggins.

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