I am still a bit shaken by the news this morning of Pope Benedict’s resignation. Obviously, this story has many different layers that time will expose, but for now, I wanted to leave this simple, short reflection on where my affection for “Papa Benny” began.
Pope Benedict XVI is the only Bishop of Rome that I’ve known since becoming Catholic and his writings prior to being elected played a major part in my intellectual conversion. The engagement ring my wife wears was blessed by him during our first trip to Rome just three months after my reception into the Church. We became engaged in St. Peter’s Square on that trip.
While many of my Catholic friends rightfully call Blessed John Paul II “their Pope”, Pope Benedict will likely always hold that title for me.