- Benedict's brother says former Pope does not regret resigning Catholic News Agency. 02/12/14. In a recent interview, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger said his brother, retired Pope Benedict XVI, believes he made the right decision in stepping down from the papacy last year due to a lack of physical strength.
- "Relativist” Ratzinger, by Andrea Tornielli. La Stampa "The Vatican Insider". A secular, non fideistic approach that is light years away from any kind of fundamentalism. A sign of clear appreciation for liberal democratic tradition and a celebration of reason and of a healthy relativism in terms of worldly choices. This and much more is contained in the speeches of the theologian Joseph Ratzinger-turned Pope Benedict XVI, as emerges in the book “La legge di Re Salomone” (“The Law of King Solomon”) published by Italian publishing house BUR and edited by Marta Cartabia (a constitutional court judge) and Andrea Simoncini.
- Ratzinger visits his brother at the Agostino Gemelli hospital in Rome La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 01/04/14. Yesterday the Pope Emeritus left his residence in the Vatican, where he has been living in seclusion since May 2013, to visit his brother Georg at the Roman polyclinic.
- AP: Over two years, Pope Benedict removed nearly 400 priests from ministry for sex abuse (as relayed by) Deacon Greg Kandra. Deacons Bench 01/17/14.
- Middle Eastern Patriarchs Visit Benedict XVI Zenit News. 11/29/13:
Several Patriarchs who were in Rome for last week’s Plenary Assembly for the Congregation of the Oriental Churches met with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI ...
The former pontiff assured the prelates of his prayers for the Middle East.
Chaldean Patriarch Raphael Louis I Sako of Baghdad confirmed the meeting with the Pontiff Emeritus in an interview with AsiaNews.
"We had a friendly meeting, we asked him about his health and he asked us about the Middle East and the situation of the Eastern Christians."
- Translator predicts Benedict XVI's legacy as a great teacher Catholic News Agency. 02/11/14.
- Pope Benedict a year on: quiet life after making history, by Jean-Louis de la Vaissiere (AFP). 02/08/14:
... "I live like a monk. I pray and I read. I am well," the 86-year-old told a journalist who visited him in June.
People who have spent time with him say he likes to listen to music and play the piano, and German cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller has said he thinks the pope emeritus may be writing his autobiography.
His life is not shrouded in solitude: Benedict's 90-year-old brother has stayed with him for an extended period and close friends are known to have dropped by to see him, along with prelates and theologians eager to debate with a man renowned for his fierce intellect.
His relationship with Francis "is good, even if he does not necessarily agree with all his initiatives," a cardinal told AFP on condition of anonymity.
- Benedict XVI is theologically in tune with Francis, says German professor, by Andrea Tornielli. La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" Manfred Lütz, who has known Ratzinger for over 30 years and paid a visit to him in recent days, revealed that the Pope Emeritus believes he and his successor are on the same wavelength when it comes to theological thought.
- The Pope Emeritus and the Questioning Atheist Catholic World Report 11/29/13. A recently released letter by Benedict XVI confronts and challenges several faulty premises of militant atheism. Fr. James V. Schall provides his commentary. (And from the National Catholic Register, the first English translation of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s letter to the militant Italian atheist, Piergiorgio Odifreddi).
- Benedict XVI and the Way of Beauty, by Duncan G. Stroik. Crisis 11/21/13. "In modern memory, has there been a Pope who has been so outspoken on the topic of art, architecture, and music as Pope Benedict XVI?" muses Duncan, professor of architecture at the University of Notre Dame and author of The Church Building as a Sacred Place: Beauty, Transcendence, and the Eternal.
- John R. Stephenson draws our attention to his review of the first two volumes of Joseph Ratzinger's Jesus of Nazareth published in the Lutheran Theological Review Vol. 24 (2012) : 109-122, of which he remarks:
…I received a very nice acknowledgement from Pope Benedict himself, written by Prelate Peter Wells of the State Department; HH expressed his appreciation of my remark that he has “provided an ecumenical solution for an ecumenical problem.”
Joseph Ratzinger-Collected Works: Theology of the Liturgy
Publisher: Ignatius Press (May 5, 2014). 700 pgs.
This major volume is a collection of the writings of Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) on the theology of the Liturgy of the Church, a subject of preeminence to him as a theologian, professor and spiritual writer. It brings together all his writings on the subject, short and long, giving his views on liturgical matters and questions over many years and from various perspectives.
He chose to have his writings on the Liturgy for the first volume published of his collected works (though listed as vol. 11) because, as he says in the Introduction: "The liturgy of the Church has been for me since my childhood the central reality of my life, and it became the center of my theological efforts. I chose fundamental theology as my ﬁeld because I wanted ﬁrst and foremost to examine thoroughly the question: Why do we believe? But also included from the beginning in this question was the other question of the right response to God and, thus, the question of the liturgy."
By starting with the theme of liturgy in this volume, Ratzinger wants to highlight God's primacy, the absolute precedence of the theme of God. Beginning with a focus on the liturgy, he said, tells us that "God is first". He quotes from the Rule of St. Benedict, "Nothing is to be preferred to the liturgy", as a way of ordering priorities for the life of the Church and of every individual. He says that the fundamental question of the man who begins to understand himself correctly is: How must I encounter God? Thus learning the right way of worshipping is the gift par excellence that is given to us by the faith.
The essential purpose of his writings on the liturgy is to place the liturgy in its larger context, which he presents in three concentric circles. First, the intrinsic interrelationship of Old and New Testament; without the connection to the Old Testament heritage, the Christian liturgy is incomprehensible. The second circle is the relationship to the religions of the world. The third circle is the cosmic character of the liturgy, which is more than the coming together of a circle of people: the liturgy is celebrated in the expanse of the cosmos, encompassing creation and history at the same time.