Skip to comments.Saint Peter As Seen by His Successor (extraordinary document from B16 on his preaching and papacy)
Posted on 06/02/2006 9:56:29 AM PDT by NYer
ROMA, June 1, 2006 – In a St. Peter’s Square that is always extremely crowded with pilgrims from all nations, each Wednesday Benedict XVI continues the cycle of catechesis he began last March 18, on “the relationship between Christ and the Church as considered beginning with the experience of the apostles.” The continuity is interrupted only rarely: for example, on Wednesday, May 31, the pope dedicated the audience to a reflection summarizing his trip to Poland a few days earlier.
The theme assigned to the cycle is revealing of pope Joseph Ratzinger’s intention to clarify the essence and foundations of the Christian faith. From this point of view, the encyclical “Deus Caritas Est” and these catecheses on the Church appear to be closely connected.
But whom do these catecheses really reach? Certainly, the pilgrims present in St. Peter’s Square. More than his predecessor, Benedict XVI has the capacity to obtain an attentive hearing. The proof can be found just by mingling with the crowd. From the beginning to the end of the pope’s remarks, the attention of each language group is generally focused and constant. As a rule, Benedict XVI reads the catechesis in Italian. This is then followed by summaries in the other major languages.
But what about those outside the circle of his listeners who are physically present? The pope’s catecheses reach few people, very few. Apart from some specialized Catholic outlets, almost none of the media retransmit them. And one can understand their reasoning. It is unthinkable that a scholarly lesson on apostolic succession or on the relationship between Scripture and Tradition would be newsworthy enough to merit being presented again in its entirety, which would be the only adequate way.
But the limitation is also to be found in the system of communication surrounding Benedict XVI. This is the case with the Vatican website. Precisely where one would expect to find the complete text of each catechesis in the principal languages, the shortcomings are obvious.
In the section that reports on all of the pope’s activities, the complete translation of each Wednesday catechesis in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and German is posted online after long delays: not less than two weeks after the pope has delivered it.
For example, the second of the two catecheses reproduced below, which the pope delivered on May 24, is still not available in a Vatican-issued English translation. One has to turn to the international news agency Zenit for their translation.
Why republish here these two catecheses? Because they are exemplary instances of pope Ratzinger’s preaching, and in particular of that form of his preaching least known to the general public. Because they are an extraordinary document on his way of being pope.
Both are dedicated to the apostle Peter. And they will be followed – according to assurances from Benedict XVI himself – by profiles of the other apostles, “one by one.”
The first of these catecheses was delivered on Wednesday, May 17. The second came on the following Wednesday, May 24. They are linked together as in a diptych.
Have a wonderful trip!! You may want to check out the
blogspot for some excellent tips on navigating Rome and visiting those 'out of the way' churches and chapels, not often found on the mainstream visitor maps. Excellent web site!
Great advice from Carolina.
EWTN televises this 'pre-recorded' segment on Thursday mornings at 7:20am. I'll be scouring the crowds looking for you and your beautiful brood :-)
It's posted right here on FR. I'll send you the link in FReepmail.
You may be interested in checking out this Link.
It has the names of most of the Popes from the 11th and 12th Century onwards right up till the present day along with Documents written by these various Popes.
(Papal Encyclicals Online)
Pope Benedict is a wonderful teacher, with the gift of being able to explain complicated theological subjects in terms thelay person can easily understand. These are wonderful teachings, and I certainly hope they are compiled in a book.
Pope Benedict's election was the impetus for my finally undergoing instruction and joining the Catholic Church. I as accepted at Easter of this year. The Light of Christ shines from his face, and I feel privileged to have him as the leader of the Church. He is a true blessing.
I am overjoyed for you. As one sister in Christ to another, Welcome home! Praised be Jesus Christ!
We were so blessed to be in the front row. My 4 year old was lifted up to him by one of the security detail and Papa held my boy's face in his hands for a few seconds - and my son was smiling. Can't wait to get the Vatican photos of this.
Rome was a great trip. So very blessed to be able to make such a pilgrimmage. We visited all 4 major basilicas. End of my bragging.
Welcome back! How wonderful that your son was blessed by Papa. Awesome, too, that you got front row seats. When you have time, would you tell us about your trip?
Nothwithstanding, if you do recount your trip on FR, please ping me to it. I miss Rome so much.
That makes two of us.