“A year of grace”
In his 2016 State of the Church address, Pope Francis praised his predecessor, Benedict XVI, for his “years of grace.”
And Francis also praised the new pontiff for “his courage, his integrity, his love for the poor, and his humility.”
However, Francis also spoke of a “year of grace,” referring to the year that the new pope took over the papacy.
In an interview with Spanish journalist Jose Manuel García-Margallo published in the New York Times, Francis said he and Benedict XVI had a “truly remarkable year.”
“We had a great year,” Francis said.
“It was not a normal year.”
Francis added that he had “great joy” about his pontificate, which has been marked by “an amazing transformation of the church.”
“A great year in which the Church has undergone a tremendous transformation, the renewal of the liturgy, the teaching of faith, the evangelization of the poor,” Francis told García‐Margallo.
In the same interview, the pontiff also told the Spanish journalist that his “great love for humanity is very great.”
Francis also described a year of “great sorrow” for the Church, in which it had to endure “the terrible, terrible crisis of our age.”
The pontiff acknowledged that there were some “serious mistakes” in the past, but that “in the past we did not act in a way that was very courageous.”
“I have a great joy in the life of the Lord, and I am very proud to be a part of this Church,” Francis added.
While the pope has said that the Church will remain strong for many years, the next pontiff will be a “very different person.”
This post has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of the word “tireless.”