Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Pope Benedict Roundup

  • Vatican doctors photo of Benedict's praise for Francis, by Nicole Winfield. 3/13/18:
    The Vatican admitted Wednesday that it altered a photo sent to the media of a letter from retired Pope Benedict XVI about Pope Francis. The manipulation changed the meaning of the image in a way that violated photojournalist industry standards.

    The Vatican's communications office released the photo of the letter on Monday on the eve of Francis' five-year anniversary. The letter was cited by Monsignor Dario Vigano, chief of communications, to rebut critics of Francis who question his theological and philosophical heft and say he represents a rupture from Benedict's doctrine-minded papacy.

    • The real story behind Pope Benedict’s strange letter, by Phil Lawler. 03/14/18:
      First, Msgr. Dario Vigano sent the former Pope a set of new books on the theology of Pope Francis, asking for a favorable comment. That was in January.

      The former Pope declined to comment on the books. In fact he declined to read them, explaining that he was too busy. That was in February.

      But a month later, the Vatican press office made public the letter from Benedict, leading reporters to believe that Benedict had essentially endorsed the theological approach of Pope Francis, just in time for the 5th anniversary of his pontificate. ...

    • Vatican Reveals Full Text of Benedict XVI’s Letter to Msgr. Viganò National Catholic Register:
      Benedictus XVI

      Pope Emeritus

      Most Reverend Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò

      Prefect of the Secretariat for Communications

      Vatican City

      February 7, 2018

      Most Reverend Monsignor,

      Thank you for your kind letter of 12 January and the attached gift of the eleven small volumes edited by Roberto Repole.

      I applaud this initiative that wants to oppose and react to the foolish prejudice in which Pope Francis is just a practical man without particular theological or philosophical formation, while I have been only a theorist of theology with little understanding of the concrete life of a Christian today.

      The small volumes show, rightly, that Pope Francis is a man of profound philosophical and theological formation, and they therefore help to see the inner continuity between the two pontificates, despite all the differences of style and temperament.

      However, I don’t feel like writing a short and dense theological passage on them because throughout my life it has always been clear that I would write and express myself only on books I had read really well. Unfortunately, if only for physical reasons, I am unable to read the eleven volumes in the near future, especially as other commitments await me that I have already made.

      Only as an aside, I would like to note my surprise at the fact that among the authors is also Professor Hünermann, who during my pontificate had distinguished himself by leading anti-papal initiatives. He played a major part in the release of the “Kölner Erklärung”, which, in relation to the encyclical “Veritatis splendour”, virulently attacked the magisterial authority of the Pope, especially on questions of moral theology. Also the “Europaische Theologengesellschaft”, which he founded, was initially conceived by him as an organization in opposition to the papal magisterium. Later, the ecclesial sentiment of many theologians prevented this orientation, allowing that organization to become a normal instrument of encounter among theologians.

      I am sure you will understand my refusal and I offer you cordial greetings.

      Benedict XVI

  • Shirtless statue of Pope Benedict causes art sensation in Rome Crux 02/21/18:
    ... the technically remarkable sculpture has been the object of both criticism and praise, with some viewing it as desecrating the image of the emeritus pontiff while others judge it as an honest portrayal. For Jago, the work of art was never meant to be “derisive,” but rather a celebration of Benedict XVI, whom he considers to be a model for what every pope should be. "I consider this man to be the greatest theologian alive," he told Crux in a phone interview.

  • Simple advice from Benedict XVI on how to be a better mom or dad, by Kathleen N. Hattrup. Aleteia 10/31/17. An exhortation from a homily of Pope Benedict XVI at the 2012 World Meeting of Families. It’s worth reading a second time.

  • Pope Francis Makes Christmas Visit to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI 12/27/17. Pope Francis visited Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Thursday afternoon to personally give his Christmas greetings to the Pontiff Emeritus at his residence.

  • Benedict XVI hails Cardinal Müller for defending ‘the clear traditions of the faith’ Catholic Herald 12/28/17:
    Marking the 70th birthday of German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, retired pope Benedict XVI has said that, even though the cardinal is no longer prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he will continue to have a public role of serving the Church.

    The retired pope wrote the introduction to a book of essays honouring Cardinal Müller on his 70th birthday on December 31 and in anticipation of the 40th anniversary of his priestly ordination in February.

  • Resigned pope creates ‘multiplied and divided’ authority, author says, by Claire Giangrave. Crux News, 10/16/17. "While many Catholics have easily adjusted to the dual existence of Pope Francis and Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, undeniably another portion cannot help but compare the two papacies, or even express a preference for one style over the other."

  • Benedict XVI is weak but still following concerns of Church, says bishop Aleteia 10/03/17. A Coptic Catholic bishop of Egypt says Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is now very weak at age 90, but still "aware of everything."

  • "On a word with Benedetto" FOCUS Magazine. 06/25/17. "Quiet and almost invisible, Benedict XVI spends his days in the gardens of the Vatican. FOCUS correspondent Eva Kallinger could speak with the pontiff off duty. Not about God - more about the world. About Mozart, green parrots and Beirut. And she learned that even a pope has homesickness." [Translated from German].

  • Pope Benedict’s Great Restoration, by Michael Brendan Dougherty. National Review 07/07/17. "Ten years ago today, Pope Benedict XVI issued a document that vindicated the arguments that Catholics like Buckley and me had repeated in safe company for years: that the Latin Mass that was common to almost all of Western Catholicism for centuries was never abrogated."

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