Pope Benedict XVI: 5 Ways He Was Also an Economic Shepherd

Pope in Vatican City, Vatican.
Pope in Vatican City, Vatican.

In its two millennia of existence, the Catholic Church has picked up more than a few valuable tchotchkes, including billions of dollars worth of real estate, thousands of churches, and an art collection that is -- literally -- priceless. It's not surprising, then, that when one thinks of the grandeur of the Church of Rome, saving money isn't usually the first thing that comes to mind.

But as we attempt to sum up the soon-to-end papacy of Pope Benedict XVI, an interesting pattern emerges: The former Cardinal Ratzenberger, successor to John Paul II, endorsed quite a few positions that could have a major effect on the personal finances of millions of people. As it turns out, the pontiff dubbed the "Green Pope" for his stances on the environment was also a major advocate for families struggling with money.

Here are five ways Benedict's papacy may have impacted our lives and pocketbooks.