Benedict XVI among the top ten oldest Popes since 1400
Rome, Italy, Jul 22, 2010 / 05:27 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Benedict XVI is now the seventh oldest Pope since reliable records began being collected in the year 1400, according to a U.S. statistician. In the words of Pope Benedict himself, however, age is not as important as wisdom.
According to his information, at the age of 83, Benedict XVI is currently seventh on the list of most aged Popes, but should he remain at the helm of the See of Peter until 2015, he will overtake Clement XII, currently in second place after living to 87. Topping the list of oldest Popes in the last six centuries is Leo XIII, who died at 93 years old in 1903.
An earlier entry on the same site reports that, since 1400, Joseph Ratzinger was the fifth oldest Pope on his election date and more advanced in age at that time than any other Pontiff in the 274 years prior. He had only just turned 78 years old three days before his election.
Reflecting on a passage from the Book of Wisdom, Benedict XVI said, "True, honorable old age is not just an advanced age, but wisdom and a pure existence, without malice … The world reputes that he who lives a long life is fortunate, but God, more than at age, looks at the rectitude of the heart. The world gives credit to the ‘wise’ and to the ‘learned,’ while God prefers the ‘little ones’.
"God," asserted the Pope at the time, "is the true wisdom that does not age, he is the genuine richness that does not spoil, he is the happiness to which the heart of every man aspires profoundly."
Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.