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Aug 10 15 8:22 AM
On 4 August a woman with Benedict's name and coat of arms tattooed on her wrist attended Mass at Meter Ecclesiae.
Silvia Wenzl from Wertingen is a Benedict "fan" and, judging by comments on her FB page, where she posted this picture, she has been trying for a meeting with Benedict for quite some some.
Did she show Father Benedict the tattoo? If so, one wonders what he thought.
Aug 10 15 9:59 AM
Aug 14 15 11:01 AM
Aug 19 15 7:46 AM
Aug 27 15 12:54 PM
Benedict XVI considers the quest for God to be contemporary society's foremost challenge, according to one of the emeritus Pope's former students, who has organized the annual meeting of Ratzinger's students to discuss that very topic.The Ratzinger Schuelerkreis will gather Sept. 28-30 to discuss the theme set them by their former professor. The group has gathered to discuss topics in theology and the life of the Church since 1978, shortly after their mentor was pulled from academia to become a bishop.“Benedict XVI identified, from his earliest theological studies, a faith in the progress of man which he deems to be an ideology,” Fr. Stephan Horn told CNA.In reply to that ideology, Fr. Horn said, Benedict has maintained that “the center of history is the living God who opened himself in Jesus Christ, and true progress is found in faith.”Fr. Horn, a Salvatorian, was Ratzinger's academic assistant at the University of Regensburg from 1971 to 1977, and is now organizer of the annual Schuelerkreis meeting.He related that the 40 or so members of the Schuelerkreis form a sort of “theological family,” and that in addition to the historial nucleus of the group, there was formed in 2008 a secondary group of younger theologians who have studied Benedict's thought in-depth.The idea for the annual meeting arose in 1977, when Ratzinger was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising, and when he moved to Rome in 1981 to take up the post of prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, it continued.Benedict's former students thought that the annual tradition would have stopped once Ratzinger was elected Pope, yet he wanted to maintain the tradition and continued to meet with his former students.Since his 2013 resignation, Benedict has not attended the Schuelerkreis, except to say Mass for the group at its conclusion.However, the Pope emeritus closely follows the works of his former students, and personally chooses the themes of discussion from among a set of three which the members of the Schuelerkreis present to him at the end of each annual gathering. In recent years, they have focused on the theology of the cross; the question of God amid secularism; and ecumenism.Fr. Horn said Benedict “did not explain in-depth the reasons why he asked us to discuss ‘Speaking about God in the contemporary world’, but is evident that to him the Word of God is the true need of today’s world, and that the Church needs to find new ways to speak about God.”Fr. Horn underscored that “today’s culture itself makes speech about God necessary, as there is a different trend – that is, speaking only about what man can do, about the so called ‘homo Faber'” and so there is a need for “a new way to search for truth and to meet the great challenges of modern man.”According to Fr. Horn the search for new means to speak of God has been at the core of Benedict's theological work since the Second Vatican Council.“It been widely said that the Second Vatican Council spoke about the Church, and the relation between the Church and the world. But Joseph Ratzinger saw that the quest for God was the main issue at the Second Vatican Council, as was shown by the fact that the very first document issued by the council was the constitution on the liturgy,” Fr. Horn explained.The emphasis on liturgy was further developed by Ratzinger when he was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising in 1977.“During the years he was the Archbishop of Munich, Ratzinger focused also on liturgy, according to what he had developed in the previous years as a professor in Regensburg, when he tried to foster a way to translate the language of the faith for contemporary man,” Fr. Horn stressed.Fr. Horn also higlighted that as Pope, Benedict emphasized the education of priests and the people of God, and he created a sort of “catechumenal theology.”“Ratzinger has always thought that the search for truth does not merely come from an intellectual action, but it is rather one of the ways of life. And so theologians must be beside the catechumens – that is, all who are on a Christian path – speaking with them, developing theology and faith.”
Aug 28 15 5:31 AM
Since his 2013 resignation, Benedict has not attended the Schuelerkreis, except to say Mass for the group at its conclusion.
Aug 29 15 8:57 AM
Did you really have an important role in that conclave? (1978)RATZINGER: It’s true that some of us German-speaking cardinals sometimes met. Joseph Schröffer, already Prefect of Catholic Education, Joseph Höffner of Cologne, the great Franz König of Vienna – who is alive still - Alfred Bengsch of Berlin took part in those meetings; there was also Paulo Evaristo Arns and Aloísio Lorscheider, Brazilians of German origin. It was a small group. We absolutely didn’t want to decide anything, but only talk a little. I let myself be guided by Providence, listening to the names and seeing agreement was finally reached on the Patriarch of Venice.Did you know him?RATZINGER: Yes, I knew him personally. During the summer vacation of 1977, in August, I was staying in the diocesan seminary of Bressanone and Albino Luciani came to visit me. The Alto-Adige is a part of the ecclesiastical region of the Triveneto and he, who was a man of a exquisite courtesy, felt as Patriarch of Venice almost an obligation to go and look up his young confrere. I felt unworthy of such a visit. On that occasion I was struck by his great simplicity, and also by his wide culture. He told me he knew the area well, that he’d come there with his mother as a child on pilgrimage to the sanctuary of Pietralba, a monastery of Italian Servites lying at an altitude of a thousand meters, much visited by the faithful of the Veneto. Luciani had many fine memories of those places and not least for that he was pleased to be back in Bressanone.You’d never met him in person before?RATZINGER: No. As I said earlier, I had lived in the academic world, very far from hierarchies, and I didn’t know Church leaders in person.Then you met him again?RATZINGER: No, never before the conclave of 1978.Did you exchange words with him on that occasion?RATZINGER: Some, because we knew each other, but not many. There was much to do and consider.What impression did his election make?RATZINGER: I was very happy about it. To have as pastor of the universal Church a man of that goodness and with that luminous faith was the guarantee that things were going well. He himself was surprised and felt the weight of the great responsibility. You could see he was suffering the blow a bit. He hadn’t expected to be elected. He wasn’t a man who was after a career but thought of the posts he’d had as a service and also a suffering.What was your last conversation with him?RATZINGER: The day of his investiture, 3 September. The archdiocese of Munich and Frising is twinned with the dioceses of Ecuador and a national Marian Congress had been organized for that month of September in Guayaquil. The local episcopate had asked for me to be appointed papal delegate to the Congress. John Paul I had read the request already and decided in favor of it; so, during the traditional leave-taking of cardinals, we spoke about my trip and he invoked many blessings on me and on the whole Church of Ecuador.Did you go to Ecuador?RATZINGER: Yes, and precisely while I was there the news of the Pope’s death reached me. In a somewhat curious way. I was staying in the bishop’s residence in Quito. I hadn’t closed my door because in a bishop’s residence I feel in the bosom of Abraham. It was the dead of night when into my room came a swathe of light and a man dressed in the Carmelite habit. I was a bit stunned by the light and this man dressed in lugubrious fashion who looked like the bearer of bad news. I wasn’t sure if it was a dream or reality.Finally I discovered that he was an auxiliary bishop of Quito (Alberto Lunar Tobar, now archbishop emerito of Cuenca, ed.), who told me the Pope was dead. And so I learned of the sad and unexpected event. Despite the news I was able to sleep in the grace of God and the morning after I celebrated mass with a German missionary, who in the prayer of the faithful prayed «for our dead Pope John Paul I». The function was also attended by my lay secretary who at the end came to me and told me in dismay that the missionary had made a mistake with the name, that he should have prayed for Paul VI and not for John Paul I. He still hadn’t heard of the death of Albino Luciani.You had seen the Pope at the conclave. In taking your leave of him did he look like a man who might die within the space of a month?RATZINGER: He seemed fine to me. Certainly he didn’t give the impression of great health. But many people look frail and then live to be a hundred. He looked in good health to me. I’m no doctor, but to me he seemed a man who, like me, didn’t look to have very robust health. But these people are those who usually have greater life expectancy.So for you it was an unexpected death?RATZINGER: Absolutely unexpected.Did you have any doubts when the gossip began about the Pope dying a violent death?RATZINGER: No.The Bishop of Belluno-Feltre, the Salesian Vincenzo Savio, reported receiving 17 June last the nulla osta of the Congregation of the Causes of the Saints for going ahead with the cause for the beatification of the Servant of God Albino Luciani. What do you think of the matter?RATZINGER: Personally I’m altogether convinced he was a saint. Because of his great goodness, simplicity, humility. And for his great courage. Because he also had the courage to say things with great clarity, even going against current opinions. And also for his great culture of faith. He was not just a simple parish priest who had become patriarch by chance. He was a man of great theological culture and of great pastoral sense and experience. His writings on catechesis are precious. And his book Illustrissimi,which I read immediately after his election, is very fine. Yes, I’m convinced that he is a saint.Even though you met him on no more than three occasions?RATZINGER: Yes, it was enough for his luminous figure to spread that conviction in me.When you came together for the second conclave in 1978 what was the dominant feeling in the College of Cardinals?RATZINGER: After that sudden death we were all a bit depressed. It had been a bad blow. Of course, after the death of Paul VI there was also sadness. But Montini’s had been a whole life, that had had its natural epilogue. He himself was expecting death, he spoke about his death. After such a great pontificate there had been a new beginning, with a pope of a different type but in full continuity. But that Providence had said no to our election was really a hard blow. Though the election of Luciani was no mistake. Those thirty-three days of pontificate have had a function in the history of the Church.Which is?RATZINGER: It was not only the witness of goodness and of a joyful faith. But that sudden death also opened the doors to an unexpected choice. That for a non-Italian Pope.Had the possibility been taken into consideration at the first conclave of 1978?RATZINGER: It was also spoken of. But it wasn’t a very real possibility, not least because there was the fine figure of Albino Luciani. After it was thought that there was a need for something absolutely new.
Zenit - For Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Pope John Paul I is "an example for all" and he prays for his beatification.Almost a year after the opening of the process of beatification of Albino Luciani, the cardinal traveled to the province of Belluno, in northwestern Italy, where John Paul I came from. At the time of his election as Pope, he was patriarch of Venice.Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, chose this setting at the foot of the Dolomites to present his book "Faith, Truth, Tolerance. Christianity and the Religions of the World." The presentation took place Saturday in the Pope Luciani Center of Col Cumano."I pray every day for this beatification; Pope Luciani is an example for all," Cardinal Ratzinger said, speaking of the man who governed the Church for 33 days with the name John Paul I."He is a figure I have loved much," the Italian newspaper Avvenire quoted the cardinal as saying. "I was impressed by Luciani's goodness and great humility."I remember when I was a very young archbishop of Munich and Luciani came to see me, with great simplicity, to Bressanone, where I was spending a brief holiday. His goodness of heart made a great impression on me."The cardinal also described Luciani as a "man of great faith" and "great loftiness." And he continued: "His book 'Illustrissimi' shows how much he read, how much he reflected.""Luciani also had thorough theological learning," the prefect of the doctrinal congregation said. "Speaking with him, one perceived that he was an essential man -- that he focused on the simple, but was in no way simplistic."Albino Luciani was born on Oct. 17, 1912 in Canale d'Agordo, a village in the valley of Cordevole. Elected Pope on Aug. 26, 1978, he died unexpectedly, weeks later on Sept. 28.
Aug 30 15 5:37 AM
This Sunday Benedict celebrated Mass for his student circle at the Collegio Teutonico in the Vatican. The Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn and Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Council for Christian Unity concelebrated.
Following the Mass the new "Aula Benedict - Joseph Ratzinger" auditorium was inaugurated by Benedict.
Aug 30 15 8:09 AM
This Sunday Benedict celebrated Mass for his student circle at the
Collegio Teutonico in the Vatican. The Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal
Christoph Schönborn and Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Council
for Christian Unity concelebrated.
Aug 30 15 10:41 AM
“The truth, love and goodness that come from God, make man pure and truth, love and goodness come together in the Word which brings liberates a world that no longer thinks of God from ‘forgetfulness’.” This was at the heart of the homily which the Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI pronounced during a mass he presided over this morning in the Teutonic Cemetery church in the Vatican. The mass was attended by members of the Schuelerkreis (Ratzinger’s “student circle”) and the New Schuelerkreis, who gathered at Castel Gandolfo in recent days to reflect on the theme “How to speak to God today”. The priest and philosopher Tomas Halik also participated. The news was posted on the Ratzinger Foundation website.
Does not the evil that afflicts us come from the outside? This was the essence of the question posed by the Emeritus Pope in his German homily. We need to be cleansed of all the impurity that exists out there: “We could respond to the many illnesses and sometimes epidemics that threaten us, by maintaining an external cleanliness,” Benedict XVI said. It is important to care for our exterior in this way so that death does not prevail, the Emeritus Pope said. But this is not enough, he added, because there is also “the epidemic of the heart” to consider, that inner epidemic that “leads to corruption and other filth, the kind of filth that drives man to think only of himself and not of goodness.” So, aside from worship, ethos, “inner hygiene” in other words, also plays a decisive role: “What does a pure man do? What is the real power of purification? How does one come to have a cleansed heart?” Benedict XVI asked. “In another passage of the Gospel,” he continued, “the Lord says to his people: ‘You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you’.” So we become pure by means of the Word: “The Word is Jesus Christ himself and we come across the Word even in those who reflect It, those who show us the face of God and reflect his meekness, his humble heart, his simplicity, his lovingness, his sincerity.”
The mass was followed by a ceremony for the inauguration of the “Pope Benedict-Joseph Ratzinger Hall”, which the Pope Emeritus blessed. The ceremony took place in the buildings adjacent to the Teutonic Cemetery. In his introductory speech, Mgr. Hans Peter Fischer, Rector of the Teutonic College, announced that a ceremony will be held on 18 November to mark the opening of the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Roman Library. The library is entirely dedicated to the works and life of Joseph Ratzinger as a scholar and a Pope and is housed inside the Library of the Teutonic College and of the Roman Institute of the Gorres Society in the Vatican.
Present at today’s ceremony – amongst others – were cardinals Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna and Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
Aug 31 15 5:08 AM
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. In an interview granted to ACI Stampa and Catholic News Agency last week, he explained that Benedict XVI wanted the group to be a “theological family.”The terminology is precise, as that of all the theologians who have studied with Benedict XVI. The notion of family is the interpretative key to understanding Benedict XVI’s pontificate, but it also crucial in view of the upcoming Synod of Bishops. (That is fundamentally what this article is about - a salvo in the Synod wars and Ratzinger is ammunition) The discussion at the Synod, until now, has mostly focused on the pastoral care of couples in difficulty, such as the divorced and civilly remarried, on marriage preparation courses, on contraception, and on homosexual couples. But the way the family becomes a living cell of society is not one of the core topics on the agenda, or at least, it does not seem to be.Here then is Benedict XVI’s response, ( Benedict has made no response! Moreover he state quite clearly in the FAZ interview that he did not want to interfere in any way, but writers like this cannot respect his wish, In the same way they persist in referring to him as Pope Emeritus) ) one that is simple but also difficult to achieve. When his former students asked Ratzinger at the time he was appointed Archbishop of Munich, to meet once a year, their professor accepted. But he did not want these meetings to be simply a meeting between the former students and their teacher, nor mere symposiums. His students were to get along together, to discuss with each other, to enjoy good relations. Discussions needed to be frank and firm, vivid, with no fear. No diplomacy among friends. But the members of “the Circle” were tasked with the goal of becoming friends. More, they had to represent a “theological family,” a family that showed reciprocal care, one for the other.For this reason, Schuelerkreis members often phone one another, (is that the only reason they phone each other?) whenever their duties permit. Some of them are missionaries, some of them even bishops, one of them now runs an important publishing house, and so on.All of them have a common point of view, (Yes , well the Universal Church is rather more diverse than a group of theological students, no matter who their Prof is )which comes from Professor Ratzinger’s lectures. And although each of them develops these ideas in different ways, they are always able to reciprocate interests and come together in unity.Benedict XVI wanted to transfer this notion of family to the Church, and he probably did not understand why members of the Church did not understand it. (Is that so? Is that supposition or "inisisde information?)) This inability to understand may be glimpsed in the (bitter) letter he wrote after the polemics following his decision to revoke the excommunication of four Lefebvrist bishops. “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other,” he said, recalling one of St. Paul’s letters (Gal 5:15). (This is a pretty ridiculous analogy, but let's run with it for now. If a member of a family decides, with the knowledge of only one or two other dominant members, to secretly invite an eccentric schismatic group into the fold without discussion the result would be an almighty familial explosion. That is how family feuds get started. There was no consultation about lifting the excommunication on those bishops outside a tiny interested pressure group. Not even Cardinal Re, who was tesponsible for Bishops, knew until after the event. Not even Ratzinger was fully informed of the facts. So which member of the "family" was responsible of that mess? He has never owned up. He has gone on hiding behind Ratzinger's skirts. He remains a disgraceful manipulating coward - whoever he may be)All the endeavors of his pontificate form part of this search for unity within the Church, with the aim of generating a real, familial, collegiality. (But it did not work because he allowed a few members to dictate the agenda and, crucially, to block access to him)When the scandal over the leaking of confidential documents, later called Vatileaks, broke, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, but above all loyal to Benedict XVI, (Please! Above all loyal to himself! - In my opinion of course) )explained in one of the periodic meetings with the heads of Vatican dicasteries the method they used at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for drafting documents. The method was based on full collegiality and transparency, but it was not followed in other dicasteries of the Vatican where documents were leaked and used to bite and devour certain individuals. ( And is Berone actually claiming that he used the "collegial" method while he was Secretary of State?)When the clergy sex abuse crisis in Ireland broke, Benedict XVI used the same approach: he held two meetings with the Irish bishops, and then sent a pastoral letter to Irish Catholics shedding light to the Church’s responsibility. But he asked to the Irish bishops to work in communion, and to find a way out themselves. ( That worked well too didn't it? Ireland broke off diplomatic relations with the Vatican. Perhaps this writer has overlooked that, just as he consistently overlooks the fact that Ratzinger wants to called Father Benedict and he does not want to dragged into current spats in the Church)Above all, when Benedict XVI was elected Pope, he took the decision not to remove the heads of curial departments, but to shape his personal curia step by step. The real goal was to unify the old and the new establishment, the common purpose being the good of the Church. ( Another strategy that led to disaster, not least because the head of the "family" was cut off by an over zealous and jealous guardian)Unity, in the end, might be considered the leit motiv of Benedict XVI’s pontificate. ( But in fact discord became the reality) The dialogue opened with the traditionalist Lefebvrist movement represented the attempt to recompose this piece of a Church that was internally wounded;( without consulting the rest of the "family") the establishment of the Anglican ordinariate represented his wish to enter in an even more profound dialogue with English Protestants; (If he really thought that his great intellect must have been taking a break. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the Anglican Church, was not even consulted! That would have been the most basic of courtesies. This was very badly managed, and the Anglicans saw it more as a take-over bid than an attempt to open "profound dialogue".) his speeches to the Protestant world, especially those given during his 2011 trip to Germany, were meant to explain that faith was not a political issue - (So often with Benedict what was meant and what was actually perceived were two different things. He needed imput from a wider range of people, but that was not allowed.) (many expected the ecumenical gift of the revocation of the excommunication of Luther), but was mostly the effort to find a common path to God.Benedict XVI’s method was communion, the final goal was to establish a family. (It failed because it was not a family and never could be with such an isolated "father") There are differences within a family. But these differences are reunited by the mutual love between members and their love for their parents, specifically for our Father who is in heaven. ( This goal has been achieved in the Ratzinger Schuelerkreis where Benedict XVI’s words and example have been fully followed. (The Universal Church is less easily controlled than a group pf adoring students. It is a bad comparison)The Ratzinger Schuelerkreis is not merely a theological family. From the Schulerkreis thought is developed and radiated outside, generating a chain that includes a new generation. This is the reason that a New Schuelerkreis was estblished in 2008, composed of young people, students of Joseph Ratzinger’s theological work. This young students are able to enjoy the friendship and ‘paternity’ of members of the old Schuelerkreis. The young people hold symposiums open to the public while grounding everything they do in the notion that “theology and charity are separate: the one helps the other in facing the world’s challenges.” Paradoxically, this notion of family based on communion is one of the less discussed in view of the Synod on the family. (Finally we get to the point)Yet, this Synod will be on the family, and is intended to meet the modern challenges of the family.(One would have though that was a rather vital issue to confront) But the discussion is never about the way how to establish a family.The approach employed by the Synod seems to be merely normative, focused on pragmatic problems of the divorced and civilly remarried, and on pastoral care for homosexual couples. In symposiums and meetings, experts ask the Church to be wary of taking a merely “legalistic” approach to this issue. (Those perfect happy families don't need as much consideration or help do they? They are pretty self -sufficient and some seem pretty self-satisfied too, and rather eager to criticise the many who are less fortunate)Pope Francis himself has warned against closing in on a mere casuistry in his opening address at the 2014 Synod.But the discussion taking place in media is merely about practical issues. The starting point is always sociological. ( The family is as social construct) Here there is no simple dialectic between progressives and conservatives. The media mostly speak about the need to adapt the contents of faith to the current situation among Catholics. ("The faith" regarding families is a construct too.)However, this is a merely intellectual discussion from which to start the Synod discussion. The Ratzinger Schuelerkreis experience shows that the family generates a real intellectual discussion, and not the opposite. Benedict XVI, in the end, always thought that theology was not the only way to reach out for faith. Fr. Horn explained that Ratzinger places the theology of the saints before the theology of theologians, that is, the example before the word.Pope Francis seemingly follows this path. Many of the social issues the Pope raises were already part of the Benedict XVI’s social teaching. Francis’ demand for a desecularization is the same that Benedict XVI advanced during his 2011 trip to Germany. And Benedict XVI always looked for new ways of speaking about God, as does Pope Francis. However, the Church of Pope Francis does not seem to make use of communion as an instrument, thus failing to establish a family. It is widely said that there are “power lobbies” and even a “magic circle” around Pope Francis. (Good heavens! What a nerve this writer has! Never was a Pope more isolated by a tiny "magic circle" than Joseph Ratzinger, Benedict XVI. and the sorry events that punctuated his papacy are testament to that. The problem for this writer, who represents the conservative old guard that dominated the agenda with Ratzinger is that they are no longer part of the papal magic circle and it infuriates them)It seems evident that there is an agenda at work behind Pope Francis’ back, (There certainly is and this article is representative of that agenda - the conservative agenda) as his biographer Austen Ivereigh suggested when he wrote about a “team Bergoglio” that promoted his election. ( Ivereigh has denied this interpretation) It is generally hoped that Pope Francis cleans up the corruption in the Vatican, as the sole man at the controls. (Absolutely - and that means some people need to be booted out!) At the same time, it is widely hoped that he unilaterally carries forward a doctrinal revolution, at least on disciplinary aspects like access to sacramental Communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.This is not a collegial approach, but the opposite. (Just like Ratzinger then, isolated except for the tight inner circle of conservatives constantly bending his ear) More than generating a single, unified family, this approach generates many families, each of them with their own point of view that they are not going to give up in the name of the common good. (Quite - and that is how Benedict left the Church at his resignation)If Pope Francis wants to achieve the model of Church he reportedly has in mind, perhaps he should get back to the notion of a “theological family” that Benedict XVI developed de facto with the Ratzinger Schuelerkreis. (The last thing Pope Francis should do is to repeat Benedict's mistakes!)This notion is the real hidden legacy of the Pope Emeritus. (Father Benedict or Benedict XVI if referring to his time in office. Ratzinger did not want to called Pope Emeritus. That was a sop for the disappointed so they could continue to bask in his reflected "papa" authority - and use it..)
Aug 31 15 8:45 AM
When his former students asked Ratzinger at the time he was appointed Archbishop of Munich, to meet once a year, their professor accepted. But he did not want these meetings to be simply a meeting between the former students and their teacher, nor mere symposiums. His students were to get along together, to discuss with each other, to enjoy good relations. Discussions needed to be frank and firm, vivid, with no fear. No diplomacy among friends. But the members of “the Circle” were tasked with the goal of becoming friends. More, they had to represent a “theological family,” a family that showed reciprocal care, one for the other.
For this reason, Schuelerkreis members often phone one another, whenever their duties permit.
Benedict XVI wanted to transfer this notion of family to the Church, and he probably did not understand why members of the Church did not understand it.
… Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, but above all loyal to Benedict XVI …
The method was based on full collegiality and transparency, but it was not followed in other dicasteries of the Vatican where documents were leaked and used to bite and devour certain individuals.
Above all, when Benedict XVI was elected Pope, he took the decision not to remove the heads of curial departments, but to shape his personal curia step by step. The real goal was to unify the old and the new establishment, the common purpose being the good of the Church.
Benedict XVI’s method was communion, the final goal was to establish a family.
The approach employed by the Synod seems to be merely normative, focused on pragmatic problems of the divorced and civilly remarried, and on pastoral care for homosexual couples.
… the Church of Pope Francis does not seem to make use of communion as an instrument, thus failing to establish a family.
It is widely said that there are “power lobbies” and even a “magic circle” around Pope Francis.
It seems evident that there is an agenda at work behind Pope Francis’ back
This notion is the real hidden legacy of the Pope Emeritus.
Sep 2 15 10:58 AM
Sep 3 15 4:21 AM
The Czech intellectual and scholar, Professor Tomas Halik, winner of the Tempelton Prize (2014), was guest speaker at this year's annual meeting of Ratzinger's former doctoral and post-doctoral students, held August 27-30. (The meeting has been held in Castel Gandolfo since Joseph Ratzinger's election as Pope.) The original Schülerkreis (established in 1980) was joined by the circle of young scholars of Ratzinger's theology (the Neuer Schülerkreis), under the direction of Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Ecumenism. The meetings was moderated by Father Professor Emeritus Stephan O. Horn, S.D.S, former Assistant to Professor Ratzinger and now spokesperson for the Schülerkreis.Msgr Halik, who also runs the university chaplaincy in Prague, read two papers. The first was entitled: "How to speak—or to keep silent—about God today"; the second was on the topic "Love: the altar of the Unknown God". In his first paper, Professor Halik developed ideas found in his earlier writings about the contemporary drift into atheism. His differentiated analysis, influenced also by his training as a psychotherapist, stressed the positive elements of that widespread—and growing—phenomenon. But his starting point was what he called the tiredness (not to say, acedia) of contemporary European Christianity (a collective siesta time, he called it) and its lack of missionary élan. Drawing on the mystical tradition's so-called negative theology, he highlighted the incomprehensibility of God, which, paradoxically, may be the most important contribution of atheism (including agnosticism) to contemporary Christianity in its present slumbers. At the heart of the (non-militant) atheist's experience of the loss of God, he argued, may well be a intimation of Transcendence. In the second paper, he developed the experience of love as affirmation of the other. It expresses both the essence of God's love for us—an affirmation that reached its ultimate expression on the Cross—and finds expression in the worship of the unknown God implicit in every act of authentic love of others, but also in every experience of pain that cries for deliverance to a unnamed but greater-than-human Redeemer, and in every experience of joyful thanksgiving that is ordered to an unnamed-yet-sensed transcendent Giver.Each paper was followed by a widely ranging discussion, when, among other things, Halik drew on his earlier writings on the spiritual relationship between Nietzsche and Thérèse of Lisieux. They were contemporaries in time and kindred in spirit. He sees their parallel experience of the "death of God" as offering a corrective to the false certainty about God that often masks the pious platitudes of confessing or ritualized Christians/Catholics. Running like a thread though his papers and his responses to the discussion was his conviction that the way forward for both Christians and atheists is a recognition of their common, existential search for the truth—for the meaning of life—albeit from different perspectives. With regard to the Church's mission, Halik wants to draw attention to a third group situated between secure and convinced Christians on one side and militant atheists on the other: namely, the humble searchers. The kairos of a Church-in-siesta, Halik contends, is to accompany them and to be close to them, allowing space for God to act, but also to learn from them.On Sunday, all the participants traveled from Castel Gandolfo to the German College, Campo Santo, just inside the Vatican, for concelebrated Mass with the Pope Emeritus. (Not even Vincent Twomey has the grace to acknowledge Ratzinger's wish to be called Father Benedict, so thorough and constant has been the parrotting of his grand title in the media) Cardinals Schönborn and Koch, Bishops Adoukonou (Benin/Rome) and Hans-Jochen Jaschke (Hamburg), the Abbot of Heiligenkreuz (Vienna Woods) were joined by some thirty priests. Pope Emeritus Benedict preached—without any notes—a beautiful homily on the Sunday Gospel about the way the heart is purified though encounter with Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh as mediated by His words (Scripture). After the Mass, he re-opened the Hall in the College (once the museum) and now named the Pope Benedict XVI Hall. There he received each of his former students and new students, and exchanged greetings. I introduced four Irish members of the International Ratzinger Symposium (held annually in the SVD House, Maynooth) to the former Pontiff: Dr Mary McCaughey (also a member of the new Schülerkreis), Dr Mark Frances McKenna, Dr Mariusz Biliniewicz and Philip Cremin, M.A. Each presented him with copies of their recent publications/theses. I also presented Pope Benedict with a copy of the recently published doctoral dissertation on conscience in historical and existential context by my own former doctoral student, Stuart Chalmers (Aberdeen).Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI appeared to be in good health and in excellent form. A man of deep friendships who enjoys the company of his friends, (which must make his isolation painful) he seems to blossom each time we meet with him for our annual meeting.
Sep 4 15 10:06 PM
"I have read God or Nothing with great spiritual profit, joy, and gratitude. . . .[Its] courageous answers to the problems of gender theory clear up in a nebulous world a fundamental anthropological question." — Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Sep 5 15 10:00 AM
Benedict is among those quoted to promote Cardinal Robert Sarah's book. Should he be endorsing this book, or any book?
With each book I receive in the post comes a letter from its publisher. They all follow the same basic template: a few pleasantries followed by three or four paragraphs explaining how the book you are holding is the most incredible, astounding, breathtaking work of literature to ever exist, that it will break hearts, move mountains, define the age, live with you long after the final page, and it is with trembling excitement we now share it, and hope you might etc. And how else could it be? If the publisher isn't an advocate for their own books then something has gone wrong.
The hope is that two or three recognisable names will agree with the hyperbole and quote it back to the publisher. I've known this happen verbatim. I shan't say which book, but it's doing rather well right now, and the author quote on the cover is plucked straight from the letter that accompanied the proofs.
Sep 7 15 3:51 PM
Sep 7 15 5:35 PM
Sep 8 15 2:53 AM
Sep 12 15 5:38 AM
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