.- Upon the sixth anniversary of Benedict XVIâs election to the papacy on April 19, Cardinal Raymond Burke told CNA of his âprofound goodnessâ and praised his pontificate as one of âgreat dynamismâ and âintense evangelization.â
Cardinal Burke, the American cardinal who runs what is often called the Churchâs Supreme Court, offered as his first reaction, âWell itâs certainly been a period of very intense evangelization.â
âI think the Holy Father has shown he has many outstanding qualities not least his ability to teach very profound things in a very accessible way. Whether thatâs through his visits, his Wednesday audiences or his many homilies, without exaggeration he manages to make the very profound very understandable. And I hear that from so many people I meet.â
Certainly, Cardinal Burke is better placed than most to assess the papacy of Benedict XVI. In 2008, the Holy Father personally asked the then-Archbishop of St. Louis to move to Rome to head up the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. Thatâs the highest court on matters regarding the internal law of the Church, known as canon law. Then, only last year, the Holy Father elevated Archbishop Burke to the rank of cardinal.
So whatâs his close-up assessment of Pope Benedict himself? âOne of his great qualities is his profound goodness. When you listen to him or meet him personally thereâs a thorough goodness to the man that communicates itself to others,â Cardinal Burke said.
âI think too that thereâs a great dynamism in this pontificate that some wouldnât have expected from an older man. He hasnât been able to do all the things that John Paul II did in terms of travel but he does keep up quite a schedule.â
Cardinal Burke is particularly impressed by this scholarly Popeâs ability to maintain his academic career. âThe other extraordinary thing is that heâs been able to publish two volumes on the life of Our Lord. In them heâs given us a way of reading Holy Scriptures that is quite remarkable â very credible scientifically and at the same time very evangelical to those reading it.â
Out of the past six years of service, Cardinal Burke said he was âparticularly impressed by his visit last year to the United Kingdom. It was a visit that many people said would meet with nothing but negative reactions. So it was wonderful to see how very receptive people actually were to his various talks and homilies.â
For Pope Benedict, his sixth anniversary will be just another working day, unlike the rest of the Vatican staff, who have the day off.