- Benedict XVI defends resignation and title ‘pope emeritus’ in private letters Catholic News Agency 09/01/18:
In newly-surfaced letters from Benedict XVI, the pope emeritus has defended his abdication, and warned that continued anger at his decision risked undermining the papal office. The private correspondence, excerpts from which were carried in a German newspaper, was reportedly addressed to Cardinal Walter Brandmüller.
According to the letters, Benedict said he understood "the deep-seated pain" the end of his papacy caused the cardinal and others. At the same time, the pope emeritus wrote, he recognized that for some people the pain had “turned into an anger that no longer merely concerns my resignation, but increasingly also my person and my papacy as a whole.”
Addressing the ongoing dissatisfaction some individuals had with both his resignation and his subsequent life as "pope emeritus" - a title not previously used - Benedict cautioned that these sentiments were undermining the effectiveness of the petrine ministry.
"In this way the pontificate itself is being devalued and conflated with the sadness about the situation of the Church today," he wrote
- Bond between Benedict, Francis runs through Italy’s ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’, by John Allen, Jr. Crux News 06/07/18:
As Tantardini ministered to the youth he helped to convert, he realized the vast majority had absolutely no background in religious practice at all, so in 2001 he decided to put together a brief collection of the simplest Christian prayers along with everything somebody needs to know to make a good confession. The result, Chi prega si salva (“Who Prays is Saved”), went on to become the Italian equivalent of Chicken Soup for the Soul – one of the most popular brief spiritual books ever published, though in Tantardini’s case arguably with greater substance.
One admirer of Tantardini and his book was Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, who wrote a preface for a new edition of Chi prega si salva in early 2005, shortly before his election to the papacy. Benedict is actually a big fan of the ciellini, as members of Communion and Liberation are known – he celebrated Giussani’s funeral Mass, and members of a related group of consecrated lay women, Memores Domini, nicknamed the German pontiff’s “guardian angels,” still run his household.
Another big admirer of Tantardini is Pope Francis, who considered him a close friend in Rome when the future pope was the archbishop and cardinal of Buenos Aires. For his part, Tantardini told friends he was carrying Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina “in his heart” as his candidate for pope in 2005. When Tantardini was ailing before he died in 2012, Bergoglio performed a confirmation Mass as a favor and urged everyone to pray for his good friend.
- Analysis: Benedict XVI’s unpublished letter- God is key to understanding human rights, by Andrea Gagliarducci. Catholic News Agency (05/14/18).
- Even as pope, my teacher Joseph Ratzinger always wrote back, Elisabeth Haggblade shares fond memories of corresponding with the Pope Emeritus in America Magazine, 06/11/18. "He never left a note I sent unanswered."
- Pope praises retired Pope Benedict's writings on faith and politics, by Cindy Wooden. Catholic News Service (05/07/18):
"Liberating Freedom: Faith and Politics in the Third Millennium" is a collection of essays written over the course of several decades, including during Pope Benedict's eight years as pope. It is scheduled to be published in Italian by Cantagalli in May 11. The website Vatican Insider posted Pope Francis' preface May 6 and Vatican News posted an English translation the next day.
Pope Francis said that when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger worked alongside St. John Paul II, "he elaborated and proposed a Christian vision of human rights capable of questioning on a theoretical and practical level the totalitarian claim of the Marxist state and the atheist ideology on which it was based."
Pope Francis said the contrast Ratzinger saw between Christianity and Marxism or communism definitely was not the focus on the poor and the need to fight inequality.
"We must learn — once again, not only at the theoretical level, but in the way we think and act — that alongside the real presence of Jesus in the church and in the sacrament, there exists that other real presence of Jesus in the little ones, in the trampled of this world, in the last, in whom he wants us to find him," Pope Francis quoted the cardinal as writing.
- Full Text of Pope Francis’ preface of Benedict’s works: A compass to Understand our Present day (Salt & Light 05/07/18)
- And last but not least (even though it's from last year), New ‘Pint-ifex’ beer honours Benedict XVI (11/1/17):
An Ohio brewery has produced a specially-commissioned beer in honour of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. The Bavarian-style hefeweizen, called Beer-nedict XVI: Pint-ifex Maximus, was launched at the conference of the Society for Catholic Social Scientists in Steubenville