Pope Benedict XVI: a ground-breaking bishop and pioneer

The bishop of Rome and successor of Peter has, for all his conservatism, has broken new ground once again.

The first time was with his ability and willingness to confront Islam at Regensburg, as I wrote in Islam, the Pope, and History.

The second time was when he allowed for the establishment of ordinariates for marginalized and abused anglo-catholics in the Anglican Communion.

This third time is in resigning his episcopate, as most bishops do sooner or later. But he has done it with class, after much prayer I'm sure, and according to the laws of his Church.

I have said before, and will say again, that in my opinion Pope Benedict XVI was the only European leader head of state or head of church who actually understood Islam and had the balls to confront it.

My only beef with him is that he never responded to my open letter to him regarding Catholic witness to Muslims. But then again, he is and was a busy guy...

May God bless him and keep him, and provide another excellent pastor for the Church of Rome.

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