Tornielli reports that Benedict has long felt connected to Hildegard and cites her as an example of a great woman theologian. Rome Reports writes that Benedict dedicated several of his general audiences to this German nun, saying, intriguingly, that she "served the church in an age in which it was wounded by the sins of priests and laity."
What seems to elude these reports is that Hildegard was also a powerful abbess during a time when, according to scholar Gary Macy, "abbesses were powerful and acted independently not only of the papacy, but also of the local bishop." She even had a male secretary named Volmar.
Related, with musical excerpts.