SOMETHING FISHY HERE OR TRYING TO AVERT SCHISM??????
From Vatican Radio and a bit unprecedented, a kind of bombshell?
Pope Benedict XVI: there is continuity with Pope Francis' Pontificate
Pope Benedict wanted to give a contribution, very significant as always, to the interior spiritual unity of the two pontificates. Thus Msgr Dario Edoardo Viganò characterizes the letter sent to him by the Pope Emeritus.
By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis,
Regarding the magisterium of Pope Francis, Benedict writes that “there is interior unity” between his pontificate and that of Pope Francis, his successor. Pope Benedict’s letter was presented by its recipient, Msgr Dario Edoardo Viganò, during a press conference presenting “The Theology of Pope Francis,” a series of 11 books written by 11 different authors, and published by Libreria Editrice Vaticana. The news conference was held in Sala Marconi in the headquarters of Vatican Media.
Pope Benedict applauds publication of the series
“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.
Pope Francis has profound theological formation
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.”
Language editions in the works
During the event, Br Giulio Cesareo, OFM, the recently-appointed head of Libreria Editrice Vaticana, explained that contracts have already been signed for the English, Spanish, French, Portoghese, Polish and Romanian editions of the series, and that further negotiations are in process with publishers throughout the world.
And from the Vatican Insider:
Pubblicato il 12/03/2018
A “foolish prejudice”. With these firm words, Benedict XVI - from his retreat in the Vatican - labels those statements according to which his successor would not have theological stature while he, the theologian Pope, would have been only a theorist with no understanding of Christian life today. The statements of the Pope Emeritus, who also emphasizes the “inner continuity” of the two pontificates, are contained in a letter sent to the Prefect of the Secretariat for Communication, Dario Edoardo Viganò, who read some passages during the presentation of the series “Theology of Pope Francis”, published by the Libreria Editrice Vaticana (LEV), which took place on the evening of Monday 12 March at the Sala Marconi in Palazzo Pio.
“I applaud this initiative - Benedict XVI writes - that wants to oppose and react to the foolish prejudice for which Pope Francis would be only a practical man without particular theological or philosophical formation, while I would have been only a theorist of theology with little understanding of the concrete life of a Christian today”.
Ratzinger thanks for having received as a gift the eleven books written by eleven internationally renowned theologians who make up the series edited by Don Roberto Repole, President of the Italian Theological Association. The small volumes - Benedict XVI adds - rightly show that Pope Francis is a man of profound philosophical and theological formation and therefore help to see the inner continuity between the two pontificates, despite all the differences in style and temper”.
On that occasion Archbishop Georg Gänswein read the text of an interview with Ratzinger by the Jesuit theologian Jacques Servais on “what is faith and how does one come to believe”, in which Pope Benedict quoted Francis speaking extensively about mercy, “Mankind today has this vague sensation that God cannot let the majority of humanity take the road of perdition. As such, the concerns people once had regarding salvation have for the most part disappeared. In my opinion, however, there is still a perception that we are all in need of grace and forgiveness, it just exists in a different way.I believe it is ‘a sign of the times’ that the idea of God’s mercy is becoming increasingly central and dominant - – starting with Sister Faustina, whose visions in various ways deeply reflect God’s image among today’s mankind and its desire for divine goodness”.
Pope John Paul II - Ratzinger continued - “felt this impulse very strongly even though this was not always immediately apparent. But it is certainly no coincidence that his last book, which was published just before his death, talks about God’s mercy.Inspired by his experience of human cruelty right from his younger days, he states that mercy is the only true and ultimately efficient reaction against the force of evil. Only where there is mercy does cruelty cease to exist, do evil and violence cease to exist.”
“Pope Francis - Benedict XVI continued, referring to his successor - fully shares this line. His pastoral practice finds expression in his continuous references to God’s mercy. It is mercy that steers us towards God, while justice makes us fearful in his presence. I believe this shows that beneath the veneer of self-confidence and self-righteousness, today’s mankind conceals a profound knowledge of its wounds and unworthiness before God. It awaits mercy”.
Benedict, in the short final greeting, had returned to speak of mercy, “Thank you above all to you, Holy Father: your goodness, from the first moment of your election, in every moment of my life here, strikes me, and truly brings me, in an inner sense, more than in the Vatican Gardens, with their beauty, your goodness is the place where I live: I feel protected. Thank you also for your words of thanks, for everything. And let us hope that you will be able to continue with all of us on this path of Divine Mercy, showing the way of Jesus, to Jesus, to God”.