For those of us who have watched Benedict's announcement of intent to resign, last weeks, farewells and final departure from St Peter's it has been a mixture of "head and heart" reaction and responses. Rationally I think he has made a wise and brave choice to leave the office of pope while he was still able to do so in relatively good health and with equal mental stamina. However, there is a sadness at the end of a papacy that despite some set-backs in the area of understanding Pius XII has seen Catholic-Jewish relations continue to flourish.
It is important to remember that it was under instruction from Benedict that the complete archival record of the papacy of Pope Pius XI was made available in 2005. This of course released all the material concerning the then Cardinal Secretary of State, Eugenio Pacelli. Scholars have spent much time and effort exploring these files and producing important studies that continue to help shape our understanding of the Vatican's response to Nazi Germany.
I hope Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI enjoys years of good health, and that the Bavarian academic who surprised the world after the death of John Paul II with his humility and gentle goodness, will continue to gift the world with his erudition and insight.
Here is the NCR article by Jerry Filteau: