BENEDICT XVI ON “INTERIOR CONTINUITY” OF TWO PONTIFICATES

BENEDICT XVI ON “INTERIOR CONTINUITY” OF TWO PONTIFICATES

You saw the March 12 story from Vaticannews.va that I posted on Facebook about a letter from Pope emeritus Benedict XVI to Msgr. Dario Eduardo Vigano, prefect of the Secretariat for Communication in which the former Pope indicates an “interior continuity” between his pontificate and that of Francis.

Msgr. Vigano read two paragraphs of the papal letter to the guests present for the presentation of 11 small volumes entitled “The Theology of Pope Francis.”

The February 7 letter from Benedict XVI was in response to a letter sent to him by Msgr. Vigano on January 12,

That vaticannews.va story cited only two paragraphs of Benedict XVI’s response to Msgr. Vigano:

“I applaud this initiative,” writes Pope Benedict. “It contradicts the foolish prejudice of those who see Pope Francis as someone who lacks a particular theological and philosophical formation, while I would have been solely a theorist of theology with little understanding of the concrete lives of today’s Christian.”

“The Pope Emeritus writes that he is grateful to have received the set of 11 books edited by Roberto Repole, President of the Italian Theological Association. Pope Benedict XVI adds that these volumes “reasonably demonstrate that Pope Francis is a man with profound philosophical and theological formation and are helpful to see the interior continuity between the two pontificates, even with all the differences in style and temperament.”

Vaticanista Sandro Magister notes in Italian in his blog post today, Settimo Cielo, that this exchange of letters was only made public on the vigil of the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’ election “as if it was a grade, a good one” for his successor’s pontificate. He said people can “read into it what they want” about the unpublished fourth and final paragraph of Benedict’s letter.

Magister published the entire letter and the following is my translation from the Italian:

Benedict XVI
Pope Emeritus
Rev. Msgr. Dario Edoardo Vigano
Prefect of the Secretariat for Communication
Vatican City
7 February 2018

Most Rev. Monsignor,

I thank you for your courteous letter of January 12 and for the attached gift of the 11 small volumes edited by Robert Repole.

I applaud this initiative that wishes to contradict the foolish prejudice of those for whom Pope Francis would be a man lacking a particular theological and philosophical formation, while I would have been solely a theoretician of theology who understood little of the concrete lives of today’s Christian.

These small volumes demonstrate, rightly so, that Pope Francis is a man of deep philosophical and theological formation and they help us therefore to see the interior continuity between the two pontificates, even with all the differences in style and temperament.”

In any case, I do not feel like writing about (these volumes) a brief or even dense theological page because, throughout my whole life, it has always been clear that I would have written or would have expressed myself only about books that I have truly read. Unfortunately, also for physical reasons, I am not able to read these eleven little volumes in the near future, and even more so because other commitments that I have already made await me.

I am certain you will understand, and I greet you cordially,

Yours,
Benedict XVI

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A LOOK BACK IN TIME….THE FRANCIS PAPACY AT 5 – SANT EGIDIO COMMUNITY TO HOLD PRAYER VIGIL FOR VICTIMS OF FLORIDA SCHOOL MASSACRE

Five years ago, almost to the hour I am writing this column, the 2013 conclave ended and we had a new Holy Father, Pope Francis. Five years have passed, amazing years of great change and some continuity, of novel ideas, of an open, almost casual papal style.

As we said five years ago – Habemus papam! A Pope in search of the peripheries, the poor and outcast, the homeless and forgotten, migrants and refugees. Yet sometimes those peripheries are right in the heart of the world’s largest cities.

A Pope who did not wish to travel and yet so far has had 22 international apostolic trips as he does what he wants all of us to do – evangelize!

A Pope who smiles, hugs babies, caresses the ill, the disabled and disfigured and prisoners – and yet one who knows how to admonish, with or without a smile.

A Pope not afraid to dare to be different, and yet a man comfortable, as the saying goes, in his own skin.

A Pope who has tried to tweak some millennia old Church teachings as he reaches out to the faithful, pleasing some and perplexing others.

And so much more!

A LOOK BACK IN TIME….THE FRANCIS PAPACY AT 5

There are some days in life you’ll never forget, not an hour, not a minute! March 13, 2013 was one of those days, as part of the EWTN team covering the pre-conclave days and then the conclave that eventually elected Pope Francis following the retirement on February 28 of his predecessor, now Pope emeritus Benedict XVI.

It was a very cold, very rainy day in Rome, a long day that started ultra early for me and I don’t even remember when it ended, what time it was when I finally got to bed. I remember about 5 in the afternoon I was hoping to go home for a few minutes (I live a 5-minute walk from St. Peter’s Square) to get some notes I had prepared for the long television evening ahead and perhaps put on some fresh powder and comb my hair!

I was walking underneath the right hand colonnade, tired beyond telling but buoyed every so many yards by running into friends and many of my EWTN fans. I did make it home for a few minutes and then came back into St. Peter’s Square for the evening vote. I was due to be on air live with Fr. Mitch at 8 pm Rome time but then we got the white smoke and I hurried to reach our television location atop the building of the Augustinian Fathers.

It was harder to get out of the square than into the square but I reached our rooftop studio in time for the announcement of the new Pope and his chosen name as Pope.

And, as you will see below, the rest is history!

GRAY SMOKE TURNS TO WHITE – HABEMUS PAPAM – FRANCIS APPEARS ON THE BALCONY (7.38 minutes)

HABEMUS PAPAM – As EWTN’s coverage began the night of March 13, 2013, it was a guessing game before the evening vote of the elector cardinals of the College of Cardinals – then the (unexpected by many that night) white smoke and shortly afterwards the tumultuous welcome for a man named Francis, the first Jesuit and the first Latin American Pope (2 h.37 minutes)

The World Over – March 14, 2013 – the night after the conclave: Features the late Cardinal Francis George (“A conclave is a very religious experience”…”An exercise in freedom”), Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, Grand Master of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC, Msgr. Anthony Figueredo, and other guests) (50 minutes)

From Vaticannews.va today: http://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2018-03/pope-francis-pontificate-5-years-.html#play

SANT EGIDIO COMMUNITY TO HOLD PRAYER VIGIL FOR VICTIMS OF FLORIDA SCHOOL MASSACRE

A month to the day after the February 14 shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and teachers were killed during the most serious school killing in the United States, favored by the extreme ease in acquiring arms, the Sant’Egidio community of Rome announced today in a press release, that they are promoting a prayer vigil on Wednesday, March 14, in the basilica of St. Mary Major to commemorate the victims and express closeness to their families.

Young Romans and American university students enrolled in American universities in Rome will participate in tomorrow’s vigil at 7 pm.. During the vigil the names of the victims will be read and for each one a candle will be lit so that no one is forgotten and a strong message is sent against every type of violence.