In a rite before the funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Vatican officials placed unique symbols of his pontificate inside his cypress casket, along with a scroll in Latin describing his ascent to the Chair of St. Peter.

“His faith and family upbringing prepared him for the harsh experience of the problems connected with the Nazi regime, aware of the climate of strong hostility towards the Catholic Church,” said the English translation of this rogito, or deed. “In this complex situation, he discovered the beauty and truth of faith in Christ.”

Terry Mattingly leads GetReligion.org and lives in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is a senior fellow at the Overby Center at the University of Mississippi.

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