Two weeks ago, Pope Benedict XVI died. I have been saying his name in the Memento for the dead every day, but it was recently brought to my attention that I needed to do a requiem Mass for a deceased Pontiff. Today, I offered a requiem Mass for Pope Benedict XVI, two weeks after his death. These black vestments were brought to me by Mark who runs the Non Veni Pacem blog, and he attended this Holy Mass. So did some others in the state I was visiting.
It’s not my job to canonize or condemn Pope Benedict XVI. It’s our job as Catholics to pray for all our deceased, and he is one of them. Mark NVP and some traditional priests and Canon212 all brought it to my attention that Pope Benedict XVI was treated worse than a dead Vatican janitor in all of his own funeral proceedings. GloriaTV reported that his body was taken away in a van, not a hearse. All of these were great convictions to my own heart and mind that Pope Benedict XVI deserved a reverent Traditional Latin Mass as an honorable requiem, even if a low Mass in a condo several thousand miles away from Europe.
But the pomp-and-circumstance is not as important as praying for his soul. I hope when I die that none of you canonize me. I hope you all have countless Masses said for me, and that you assume I am in Purgatory in your prayers for me up to your own dying breath, should I go into eternity before you all. That’s how we do it as Catholics: We pray our whole living time on earth for the faithfully departed. Pope Benedict XVI deserved this. Pope Benedict XVI also deserved (but was not given) the funeral and honor of a deceased Roman Pontiff. That’s why we did what we did today.