Thursday, January 07, 2016

Pope Benedict Roundup

  • Clear and colorful: A common property in unscripted papal preaching, Carol Glatz (Catholic News Service) reports on a new publication of Joseph Ratzinger:
    Never-before published, the 10 homilies are informal, colorful, off-the-cuff reflections that seek to make the mystery, relevance, and force of the faith clear and inspirational to everyday Catholics in a small Bavarian parish. The 100-page book — currently available only in Italian — is titled, The Homilies of Pentling, the German village where the cardinal vacationed and kept a home he had hoped to retire to one day.

    “Apart from a few small corrections, I kept the familiar style of the text just as it flowed out back then,” the retired pope wrote in the book's preface. He said he hoped the homilies, taken from transcribed audio recordings between 1986 and 1999, would help not just "my fellow citizens of Pentling," but all readers in “understanding and living the word of the Gospel."

    While Pope Francis consistently crafts clever, memorable metaphors in his writings and talks, many people don’t remember that Pope Benedict was quite good at it, too.

  • Ratzinger Prize Recognizes Lebanese, Brazilian Scholars 11/16/15. "The Ratzinger Prize this year recognizes a Lebanese scholar who translated Joseph Ratzinter's complete works into Arabic, and a Brazilian theologian who twice served on the International Theological Commission."

  • How about a Masters in "Ratzinger Studies"? - Fr. John Zuhlsdorf reports that in Rome, there is now a Masters program in RATZINGER STUDIES. The Fondazione Vaticana Joseph Ratzinger Benedetto XVI is sponsoring a Masters Program in "Joseph Ratzinger: Studies and Spirituality." [Link to PDF of the brochure].

  • Kasper vs Ratzinger, the Unending Dispute, by Sandro Magister. Chiesa. 10/30/15. "Francis reignited it and the synod has not resolved it. In the paragraphs on the divorced and remarried the word “communion” isn’t there. But the pope could introduce it himself, by authority."

  • How Benedict XVI played a special role in a Pope's cause for sainthood Catholic News Agency. 10/20/15. "On his path to beatification, John Paul I can count on a very special supporter: Pope emeritus Benedict XVI."

  • Benedict: "From Where Does Evil Come?", by James C. Schall, SJ. Crisis 09/21/15:
    The former students of Pope Benedict have an annual seminar (Ratzinger Schülerkreis) to think about his vast and profound intellectual accomplishments. This year’s meeting was held Castel Gandolfo. On August 30, in the Church of the Teutonic Cemetery in the Vatican, Pope Benedict gave a brief, penetrating homily in German to the group. The general subject of discussion was “How do we speak of God today?” (L’Osservatore Romano, September 4, 2015).

    The Gospel reading in the Pope’s Mass was from Mark 7. This passage concerned the Scribes and Pharisees questioning Christ and the disciples about washing hands and utensils in dining. Christ was annoyed with these gentlemen for concerning themselves with external cleanliness when inside they were avaricious and vain. Christ concluded with the famous passage: “Nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him impure; that which comes out from him, and only that, constitutes impurity” (Mk 7:15, 20). In other words, the world’s problems are not external to our souls but originate there. We cannot reconstruct the world in order to reconstruct ourselves. We always have to attend to ourselves first.

    At this group’s meeting three years previously, using the same text from Mark, Christof Cardinal Schönborn, O. P., a former student and colleague of Pope Benedict, posed the issue in this manner: Must one first be “purified exteriorly and not only interiorly, and [does] evil only [come] from within?”

  • Benedict XVI: the Hidden Legacy 08/31/15:
    “A theological family.” This is how Fr. Stephan Horn, Salvatorian, describes the circle of former students of Joseph Ratzinger. Fr. Horn served as academic assistant to Joseph Ratzinger in Regensburg from 1971 to 1997, and today he is the secretary of the Ratzinger Schuelerkreis, which gathers once a year since 1978. ...

  • Regensburg Redux: Can Benedict say ‘I told you so’ about Islam?, by David Gibson. Crux / Religion News Service. 09/11/14:
    Eight years ago this Friday, Sept. 12, Pope Benedict XVI delivered a lecture at the University of Regensburg in Bavaria in which he seemed to diagnose Islam as a religion inherently flawed by fanaticism.

    It was an undiplomatic assertion, to say the least — especially coming a day after the 9/11 anniversary — and it sparked an enormous outcry among Muslims. It came to be seen as one of a series of missteps that would plague Benedict’s papacy until he resigned last year.

    Now, with the Islamic State on the march in the Middle East, leaving a trail of horrifying brutality and bloodshed that has shocked the world, some of Benedict’s allies on the Catholic right are saying, in effect, "He told you so."

  • Cardinal Danneels Admits to Being Part of 'Mafia' Club Opposed to Benedict XVI, by Edward Pentin. National Catholic Register 09/24/15.

  • Cardinal Danneels' Biographers Retract Comments on St. Gallen Group (but the cardinal's assertion that the secretive "mafia-like" group existed and opposed Joseph Ratzinger still stands), by Edward Pentin. National Catholic Register 09/26/15.
    • FLASHBACK: Ex pope Benedict denies he was forced to resign, by Philip Pullella. Reuters. 02/26/14:
      Former Pope Benedict, in one of the few times he has broken his silence since stepping down nearly a year ago, has branded as "absurd" fresh media speculation that he was forced to quit.

      Church law says a pope's resignation is valid only if he takes the decision in full freedom and without pressure from others.

      "There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry," Benedict, 86, who now has the title "pope emeritus," said in a letter to the Italian website Vatican Insider published on Wednesday.