Speaking about the theologian Tertullian at the general audience today, Benedict XVI offered his insights on the necessity of humility for being a theologian.
The pope spoke of the, "drama" of Tertullian's life" and used it to make a point about being faithful to the Church. “With the passing of the years he became ever more demanding towards Christians expecting them to behave heroically in all circumstances and especially during persecution." This rigorous expectation led Tertullian to eventually break with the Church.
Benedict offered this thought on his departure, "I often think of this great moral and intellectual figure, this man who made such a great contribution to Christian thought. It is clear that in the end he lacked the simplicity and humility to be part of the Church, to accept her weaknesses. When one sees only one's own ideas, in all their greatness, in the end it is precisely this greatness that is lost. The essential characteristic of great theologians is the humility to remain with the Church, to accept her weaknesses and their own, because only God is truly holy. We, on the other hand, always have need of forgiveness."