02/11/2013 06:34 pm ET Updated Apr 13, 2013

Joseph Ratzinger: An Affable and Humble Warrior Set to Restore Truth and Justice

I met Joseph Ratzinger at the Vatican when, as a cardinal, he was a prefect in the Doctrine of the Faith. He wanted to speak to me in the hall constructed by the architect Nervi about the problems of electronic communication.

The elected Pope wanted to see my family and I after the presentation of the film John Paul II, produced by the company Lux Vide, which I headed at the time. I, along with my children Matilde and Luca, met him at other times in special hearings and after the pre-screenings of other films produced for television. I followed his apostolic activity with the eye of an old journalist and with the spirit of a practicing Catholic.

In the coming days, many will recount the anecdotes and curiosities of Joseph Ratzinger's life as a professor, theologian, and leader of souls. I think it is interesting to remember his religious thought and his political leadership of the men and women who believe in God.

I would like to recall that his congeniality, which put all of his interviewers at ease, was the result of a profound humility, overlying his warrior temperament, determined to defend -- at any cost -- truth and justice.

After much consideration, he accepted the election as Pontiff and has pursued his papacy with inflexible decision, both in condemning and forgiving those who err. With the same depth of reflection on the powers with which he governed the Church, he considered the consequences of the possibility that a Pope may resign as he deems necessary, legislated by his predecessor Paul VI.

During his papacy -- in times of fundamentalist extremism, skeptical relativism, and nihilists -- he reaffirmed openly that God created both the world and man. He showed that it is reasonable that every living thing faces the challenges of life with a strong faith in the creator, the God of mercy and justice.

In terms of universal politics, he has never used opportunistic tactics.

In April 2010, after receiving the participants of the plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Benedict XVI had this to say:

"The global financial crisis has demonstrated the fragility of the current economic system... and the falsity of the idea that the market is capable of regulating itself independently of public intervention and support of moral standards." Shortly after, at the Synod of Bishops of the Middle East, using a meditation on "the fall of gods," which is on the false ideals of modernity mythologized by telecommunications, the Pope said, "Think of the anonymous capital that enslaves man...of the power of terrorist ideologies... of drugs... also the way of life propagated by the opinion of the public... of marriage that does not count... of chastity that is no longer a virtue... These ideologies that dominate, that impose themselves as gods must fall... One must realize what the letters to the Colossians and Ephesians say: the dominations and powers fall and become subjects of the one Lord Jesus Christ."

When Joseph Ratzinger came to believe he did not have the strength in his body and soul necessary to carry out his religious and political teaching, he decided to resign so that another person can carry out his mission of service to the men of good will.