Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pope Benedict Roundup!


  • 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."


Forthcoming Publications

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.