Tag Archives: Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict sends note on death of Cardinal Martini

The typical protocol is for the Pope, often through the Secretary of State, to send a telegram on the death of a churchman, or on the occasion of another significant event. In the case of cardinals, a pope sends a more personal message. Pope Benedict knew Cardinal Martini well, and even saw him in June when he was in Milan. The pope writes…

B16 and Carlo Maria.jpgHaving heard with sadness the news of the death of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini after a long illness, which he lived with a tranquil soul and with confident abandonment to the will of the Lord, I wish to express to you and to the entire diocesan community, as well as to the family of the late Cardinal, my profound share in their sorrow, recalling with affection this dear brother who served the Gospel and the Church so generously. I recall with gratitude the intense and profuse Apostolic work of this zealous, spiritual child of St. Ignatius, an expert teacher, an authoritative biblical scholar, and a beloved Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University and of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, and a wise and diligent Archbishop of the Ambrosian Archdiocese. I think also of the competent and fervent service he gave to the Word of God, always opening to the ecclesial community the treasures of the Sacred Scriptures, especially through the promotion of Lectio Divina. I raise fervent prayers to the Lord that, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, He will receive His faithful servant and worthy shepherd into the heavenly Jerusalem; and upon all those who mourn his death, I warmly impart the comfort of the Apostolic Blessing.

Pope Benedict writes to The Meeting 2012


The Holy Father, Pope Benedict closely follows The Meeting. He was in attendance several years ago, as was John Paul II in 1982. Picking up from Father Luigi Giussani’s thinking of “life as a vocation”, the Pope reminds us that everything is answered in relationship to the Infinite. On July 11, 2012 I posted a piece called “The Vocation to Life” which is essential reading if you want to know more of what the Pope, Giussani and Christianity is all about.

The Pope’s letter for the 2012 Meeting follows (emphasis mine).

To the Venerable
Brother Monsignor Francesco Lambiasi,

Benedict XVI.jpg

 Bishop of Rimini 

I wish to extend my
cordial greetings to you, to the organizers and to all the participants in the
Meeting for Friendship among Peoples, now in its XXXIII year. The theme chosen
this year – “The nature of man is a relationship with the infinite” – is
particularly significant in view of the approaching start of the Year of Faith,
which I have willed to proclaim to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of
the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.

To speak of man and of his yearning for
the infinite means, first and foremost, to recognize his constitutive
relationship with the Creator
. Man is a creature of God. Today this word –
creature – seems almost passé: we prefer to think of man as a self-fulfilled
being and master of his own destiny. The consideration of man as a creature
seems “uncomfortable,” because it implies an essential reference to something
else, or better, to Someone else – whom man cannot control – who enters in
order to define his identity in an essential way; a relational identity, whose
first element is the original and ontological dependence on He who wanted us
and created us. Yet this dependence, from which modern and contemporary man
attempts to break free, not only does not hide or diminish, but luminously
reveals the greatness and supreme dignity of man, who is called into life in
order to enter into relationship with Life itself, with God.

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Pope: configuration to Christ is the precondition and basis for renewal

“Dear friends, it is clear that configuration to Christ is the precondition and the basis for all renewal. But perhaps at times the figure of Jesus Christ seems too lofty and too great for us to dare to measure ourselves by him. The Lord knows this. So he has provided ‘translations’ on a scale that is more accessible and closer to us. For this same reason, Saint Paul did not hesitate to say to his communities: Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. For his disciples, he was a ‘translation’ of Christ’s manner of life that they could see and identify with. Ever since Paul’s time, history has furnished a constant flow of other such ‘translations’ of Jesus’ way into historical figures.”


Pope Benedict XVI

The encounter with Christ means following a road through the dark valley

This love affair with Christ, this love story which is the whole of Monsignor Giussani’s life was however far from every superficial enthusiasm, from every vague romanticism. Really seeing Christ, he knew that to encounter Christ means to follow Christ. This encounter is a road, a journey, a journey that passes also–as we heard in the psalm–through the “valley of darkness.”


Pope Benedict XVI

To the roots of communion

You can count on a delegation from the Ancient See of Constantinople visiting Rome and the Holy Father on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. Most years a small of group of bishops and archimandrites designated by the Ecumenical Patriarch descend on Rome to pray at the Tombs of Peter and Paul, to attend the Mass with the Pope and those receiving the pallium and to exchange ideas with the Pope. Lunch in the Apostolic Palace is regular. In an editorial by L’Osservatore Romano,  Pope Benedict talks more openly about the goal of these ecumenical exchanges. Eucharistic sharing is still impossible, but the hope and identifiable goal is that one day –and one hopes it happens in the next 50 years– that we can be in full visible communion. The editorial is below with my emphasis.


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The Second Vatican Council, the 50th anniversary of whose opening is to be celebrated next 11 October, has marked “a new and important phase in relations” between Catholics and Orthodox. In recognizing this the Pope expressed the hope that “progress may also be made in the current phase“, while waiting “to arrive soon at the blessed day when we will be able to share in the Eucharistic banquet“.


The traditional meeting with the Delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, received in audience on Thursday morning, 28 June, on the eve of the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul, was an opportunity for Benedict XVI to recall the importance of the Council in the development of ecumenical dialogue. It was also an opportunity to remember, in particular, the “passion for the unity of the Church” which inspired the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras and the Pontiffs, John XIII and Paul VI, who “made themselves champions of courageous projects that paved the way to renewed relations between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Catholic Church”.

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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