What the Benedict Papacy Meant for Women
In these letters, he also highlights women in the life of the church. Of course, there's the Virgin Mary. He describes her humility and love shown though "quiet gestures" in his encyclical, "God is Love." He also brings us the example of St. Josephine Bakhita, a 19th-century Sudanese slave who became a nun, in "Saved in Hope."
But Benedict's more-personal methods of communication also extended into the online realm. Before Benedict debuted his own Twitter account, he already was singing the praises of the web and its potential for the church.
"Church communities have always used the modern media for fostering communication, engagement with society, and, increasingly, for encouraging dialogue at a wider level," he said at the church's World Communication Day in 2010. "Yet the recent explosive growth and greater social impact of these media make them all the more important for a fruitful priestly ministry."
The previous year, he encouraged young people to take the lead on the church's use of technology.
"Young people in particular, I appeal to you: Bear witness to your faith through the digital world!" he said. "Employ these new technologies to make the Gospel known, so that the Good News of God's infinite love for all people, will resound in new ways across our increasingly technological world!" (As a side note, I also watched Benedict become the first pope to chat with astronauts in space. How's that for high tech?)
The innumerable commentaries across blogs and social media—even the jokes about Benedict passing on the Twitter password to the next pope—are evidence of the importance of technology and communication during his eight years as the church's Holy Father.
Benedict's writings remind us that a legacy doesn't depend solely on our traditional notions of change, politics, or conservative and liberal labels. The pope's prolific expression of faith—whether you agree with the content not—enables and enlightens us to know more, and that's a good thing.