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Seton Hall University Talks Pope Benedict XVI’s Place In History

Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful in St. Peter's Square as he arrives for his final general audience before retiring - Vatican City - Feb. 27, 2013 (credit: Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful in St. Peter’s Square as he arrives for his final general audience before retiring – Vatican City – Feb. 27, 2013 (credit: Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Pope Benedict XVI is retiring on Thursday it raises the following question. Where does he rank amongst all the past Popes?

One professor thinks he may have been the smartest Pope we ever had.

Father Pablo Gadenz, professor of Biblical studies at Seton Hall University, says Pope Benedict XVI will primarily be remembered as a great teacher and a prolific writer.

“He has dozens and dozens of books. Some of them are textbooks he had written before becoming a bishop. He had been a professor in four German universities. Others are gatherings, collections of talks that he gave over the years. and then of course we have, most recently, the three volume “Jesus of Nazareth,” which has been an international best seller,” Gadenz told WCBS 880 reporter Rich Lamb.

In “Jesus of Nazareth,” Gandenz said that Benedict XVI “bridges, if you will, reason and faith in his approach to the Gospels and what they say about Jesus Christ.”

What about Pope Benedict XIV’s intelligence and abilities?

“I think he’s probably one of the most intelligent Popes we’ve ever had throughout all of history and I don’t think that’s any exaggeration,” Gadenz said.

He described Benedict XVI as a shy introvert who, nonetheless, is kind, gentle, serene, and joyful.

Does Gadenz see scandal as a factor in the Pope’s leaving office?

“I don’t think that’s a cause for the Pope’s resignation. I think the Pope had been anticipating this resignation for a long time,” he said. “Certainly there are problems in the church like in every other institution, but in this regard, I don’t think it’s the cause of the resignation and I believe Pope Benedict has actually been one of the great reformers in trying to route out the abuses in the church.”

He believes the Pope no longer has the physical or mental energy to continue.

Where would you rank Benedict XVI? Share your thoughts below.