Saturday, August 31, 2013

Pope Benedict Roundup!

  • Vatican Diary / Pope Benedict's Parting Shot. Sandro Magister relays how Pope Benedict ordered changes to baptism rite before he resigned (Chiesa. 08/28/13):
    The Sunday after the Epiphany is the Sunday of the baptism of Jesus. And on each of these Sundays, year after year, Benedict XVI administered the first sacrament of Christian initiation to a certain number of children, in the Sistine Chapel.

    Each time, therefore, he had occasion to pronounce the formulas supplied by the rite of baptism in effect since 1969. But two of the words in this rite never entirely convinced him.

    And so, before renouncing the chair of Peter, he ordered that they should be changed in the original Latin, and as a result in the modern languages as well ...

    From now on, at the end of the rite of reception, before signing with the cross the forehead of the child or of the children, the priest will longer say: “Magno gaudio communitas christiana te (vos) excipit,” but instead: “Magno gaudio Ecclesia Dei te (vos) excipit”.

    In practice pope Joseph Ratzinger, as a sophisticated theologian, wanted that in the baptismal rite it should be clearly said that it is the Church of God – which subsists fully in the Catholic Church – that receives those who are being baptized, and not generically the “Christian community,” a term that also signifies the individual local communities or non-Catholic confessions, like the Protestants.

  • Myth Busted: Benedict XVI 'Mystical Experience' Story Not True, Catholic News Agency / EWTN. 08/28/13:
    The retired pope's personal secretary came forward and said the recent and widely circulated news story claiming that Benedict XVI stepped down after having a “mystical experience” is completely false.

    “It was invented, from the alpha to the omega,” Archbishop Georg Gänswein said. ...

    Zenit, a Rome-based Catholic news outlet, had reported Aug. 19 that Benedict XVI resigned after having a mystical experience in which God told him to do so.

    The agency said that the former pope told a visitor to Mater Ecclesiae, the monastery in the Vatican where he currently resides, that God “did not speak to him in a vision, but in a mystical experience.”

  • Ratzinger’s former students to meet in Castel Gandolfo without him, by Maria Teresa Pontara Pederiva. (La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 8/21/13:
    Unless there are any last minute surprises, this year for the first time ever, Ratzinger’s former students will be meeting in Castel Gandolfo without their old teacher, the theologian-turned-Pope, Joseph Ratzinger.

    The Circle’s coordinator, Fr. Stephan Otto Horn (Ratzinger’s assistant at Regensburg University between 1971 and 1977 and currently Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Passau) will lead this year’s meeting taking over from the Pope Emeritus who will be staying in the Vatican. The meeting runs from 29 August to 2 September.

    The topic Ratzinger chose for the meeting is: “The question of God in the context of secularisation”. He apparently also chose the meeting’s speaker, the French historian and philosopher, Rémi Brague, formerly a professor at the Sorbonne University in Paris and at the Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität in Munich.

    “Faith in modern society” is the topic chosen to start off the Circle’s discussion.

  • Benedict XVI Makes Brief Trip to Castel Gandolfo, by Edward Pentin. National Catholic Register 08/20/13:
    Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI briefly returned to the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo on Sunday, where he spent time in prayer and attended a small concert in his honor.

    He was accompanied by four 'memores domini', consecrated women belonging to the Communion and Liberation movement. When he was Pope, they looked after him in the apostolic palace, and continue to do so now as Pope Emeritus, in his new residence in the Vatican Gardens.

    During his three hour visit, Benedict XVI recited the Rosary while taking a stroll in the villa gardens, just as he used to do when he was Roman Pontiff. He also attended a short piano recital of classical music performed in his honor before returning to the Vatican in the evening.

  • Francis (with Benedict) dedicates the Vatican to St Michael, by Gianni Valenti. La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 07/05/13. The Bishop of Rome – in the presence of his predecessor – unveils a statue of St Michael in the Vatican gardens. And places the Vatican city under the protection of the Archangel St Joseph.


  • Benedict and Francis: A Lesson in Apostolic Continuity, by William L. Patenaude. Catholic World Report 05/06/13. The differences between the two men give witness to the different gifts of the same Holy Spirit.
  • Benedict XVI and the End of the “Virtual Council”, by Tracey Rowland. Catholic World Report. 04/19/13. Up to the final days of his pontificate, Benedict XVI emphasized the importance of interpreting the Council in continuity with what came before it.
  • Benedict and Francis: How Much Difference Is There? by Alessandro Speciale Religion News Service | 06/20/13. 100 days into his pontificate, a debate is brewing in Rome over whether Francis has set a distinctly different course from his predecessor, or whether the visible differences in style and personality between Francis and Benedict XVI mask a deeper theological and ideological continuity.
  • Benedict Wanted a "Poor" Church, Too, by Sandro Magister. (Chiesa, 06/17/13). The encyclical of Francis conceived and written by his predecessor is not the only sign of continuity between the two most recent popes. On the "poverty" of the Church as well there is harmony. It is enough to reread what Ratzinger said in Freiburg in 2011, in one of the capital discourses of his pontificate.
  • Ratzinger the reformer returns to his roots, by Andrea Tornielli. La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 05/03/13. Those who criticise Francis for the supposed discontinuity he has shown with Benedict XVI’s papacy, forget the historic importance of his resignation.
  • In the Winter 2011 issue of Communio>, David S. Crawford explicates the controversy around Pope Benedict’s comments (in the 2010 interview Light of the World) on condom use: Benedict XVI and the Structure of the Moral Act: On the Condoms Controversy (pdf).