Some find fault with Francis’ homily for Benedict.

VATICAN CITY — The unusual nature of Thursday’s funeral for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, presided over by his successor Pope Francis, only heightened curiosity about what course Francis would take to honor Benedict XVI.

Would he give his predecessor the simple farewell he’d asked for, while managing not to offend the conservative wing of the church, who wanted so much more for their deceased bannerman?

Francis opted for a homily that reflected his own vision of the Catholic Church, but not everyone was satisfied with his approach, with Michael Hesemann, a biographer and friend of Benedict’s, calling it “a bit standard.”

“You could have given the same homily to anyone, to any cardinal, to any bishop, or even to the butcher next door,” Hesemann said afterwards.

Francis paid tribute to Benedict XVI for having lived the gospel “all his life” by repeatedly quoting the words of his predecessor. Francis reflected the theologian’s core belief in putting Jesus at the center of life by meditating on how Jesus placed himself in God’s hands.

Above all, those close to Francis said, the homily focused on the pope’s central role as shepherd, something Francis himself holds dear, and the ancient church rituals, the so-called smells and bells, adored by traditionalists.

“The faithful people of God, gathered here, now accompanies him and entrusts him with the life of the one who was their shepherd,” Francis said of Benedict’s final passage.

“The Holy Father delivered a beautiful homily in which he reflected on the mission of a pastor, in the closest imitation of Christ,” said Cardinal Michael Czerny of Canada, a close adviser to Francis. He added that the pope concluded “this beautiful spiritual portrait” of a devoted pastor by applying it “wholeheartedly to his predecessor.”

“So please do not be disappointed by the lack of praise or eulogy,” Cardinal Czerny said. “That is for another time and place, not a Christian burial Eucharist.”

But Benedict’s supporters said his approach seemed insignificant compared to Benedict’s homily at the funeral of Pope John Paul II: an eloquent, full-throated ode to the life and legacy of a larger-than-life figure who led the church for over a year. a quarter century.

Benedict would have deserved the same funeral status as John Paul II. It makes me a little sad that there was a shortage in the ceremony itself, in the homily and so on,” Hesemann said as he entered the Vatican after the ceremony. Service.

He said that while Benedict “would have been the first to say I just want a simple funeral,” he deserved more.

But he admitted that the former pope would not have been hurt: “He was the most forgiving person.”