Post by Admin on Mar 15, 2018 10:38:05 GMT
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
[While there is much written about Cardinal Ratzinger, especially in light of his time as Pope Benedict XVI, for the sake of brevity, the following posts will primarily focus on his influence during the Vatican II Council and how he continued to implement its tenets afterwards.]
Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger; 16 April 1927) served as Pope of the Catholic Church [Benedict XVI] from 2005 until his resignation in 2013. Benedict's election occurred in the 2005 papal conclave that followed the death of Pope John Paul II. Since his resignation, Benedict holds the unique title of "Pope Emeritus".
Ordained as a priest in 1951 in his native Bavaria, Ratzinger had established himself as a highly regarded university theologian by the late 1950s and was appointed a full professor in 1958. After a long career as an academic and professor of theology at several German universities, he was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising and Cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1977, an unusual promotion for someone with little pastoral experience. In 1981, he was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, one of the most important dicasteries of the Roman Curia. From 2002 until his election as Pope, he was also Dean of the College of Cardinals. Prior to becoming Pope, he was "a major figure on the Vatican stage for a quarter of a century"; he had an influence "second to none when it came to setting church priorities and directions" as one of John Paul II's closest confidants. He has lived in Rome since 1981.
He was originally a liberal theologian, but adopted conservative views after 1968. His prolific writings defend traditional Catholic doctrine and values. During his papacy, Benedict XVI advocated a return to fundamental Christian values to counter the increased secularisation of many Western countries. He views relativism's denial of objective truth, and the denial of moral truths in particular, as the central problem of the 21st century. He taught the importance of both the Catholic Church and an understanding of God's redemptive love. Pope Benedict also revived a number of traditions, including elevating the Tridentine Mass to a more prominent position. He strengthened the relationship between the Catholic Church and art, promoted the use of Latin, and reintroduced traditional papal garments, for which reason he was called "the pope of aesthetics". He has been described as "the main intellectual force in the Church" since the mid-1980s.
On 11 February 2013, Benedict announced his resignation in a speech in Latin before the cardinals, citing a "lack of strength of mind and body" due to his advanced age. His resignation became effective on 28 February 2013. He is the first pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so on his own initiative since Pope Celestine V in 1294. As pope emeritus, Benedict retains the style of His Holiness, and the title of Pope, and continues to dress in the papal colour of white. He was succeeded by Pope Francis on 13 March 2013, and he moved into the newly renovated monastery Mater Ecclesiae for his retirement on 2 May 2013. In his retirement, Benedict XVI has made occasional public appearances alongside Pope Francis.
Early life: 1927–1951
Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger was born on 16 April, Holy Saturday, 1927, at Schulstraße 11, at 8:30 in the morning in his parents' home in Marktl, Bavaria, Germany. He was baptised the same day. He is the third and youngest child of Joseph Ratzinger, Sr., a police officer, and Maria Ratzinger (née Peintner); his grand-uncle was the German priest-politician Georg Ratzinger. His mother's family was originally from South Tyrol (now in Italy). Pope Benedict's elder brother, Georg Ratzinger, is a Catholic priest and is the former director of the Regensburger Domspatzen choir. His sister, Maria Ratzinger, who never married, managed Cardinal Ratzinger's household until her death in 1991.
At the age of five, Ratzinger was in a group of children who welcomed the visiting Cardinal Archbishop of Munich with flowers. Struck by the cardinal's distinctive garb, he announced later that day that he wanted to be a cardinal. He attended the elementary school in Aschau am Inn, which was renamed in his honour in 2009.
Ratzinger's family, especially his father, bitterly resented the Nazis, and his father's opposition to Nazism resulted in demotions and harassment of the family. Following his 14th birthday in 1941, Ratzinger was conscripted into the Hitler Youth—as membership was required by law for all 14-year-old German boys after March 1939—but was an unenthusiastic member who refused to attend meetings, according to his brother. In 1941, one of Ratzinger's cousins, a 14-year-old boy with Down syndrome, was taken away by the Nazi regime and murdered during the Action T4 campaign of Nazi eugenics. In 1943, while still in seminary, he was drafted into the German anti-aircraft corps as Luftwaffenhelfer. Ratzinger then trained in the German infantry. As the Allied front drew closer to his post in 1945, he deserted back to his family's home in Traunstein after his unit had ceased to exist, just as American troops established a headquarters in the Ratzinger household. As a German soldier, he was interned in a prisoner of war camp, but released a few months later at the end of the war in May 1945.
Ratzinger and his brother Georg entered Saint Michael Seminary in Traunstein in November 1945, later studying at the Ducal Georgianum (Herzogliches Georgianum) of the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich. They were both ordained in Freising on 29 June 1951 by Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber of Munich. Ratzinger recalled: "at the moment the elderly Archbishop laid his hands on me, a little bird – perhaps a lark – flew up from the altar in the high cathedral and trilled a little joyful song."
Ratzinger's 1953 dissertation was on St. Augustine and was titled The People and the House of God in Augustine's Doctrine of the Church. His habilitation (which qualified him for a professorship) was on Bonaventure. It was completed in 1957 and he became a professor of Freising College in 1958.
Encounter with Romano Guardini
In his early twenties, he was deeply influenced by the thought of Italian German Romano Guardini who taught in Munich 1946 to 1951 when Ratzinger was studying in Freising and later at the University of Munich. The intellectual affinity between these two thinkers, who would later become decisive figures for the twentieth-century Church, was preoccupied with rediscovering the essential in Christianity. Guardini with his 1938 tome "The Essence of Christianity," while Ratzinger penned "Introduction to Christianity," three decades later in 1968. Guardini inspired many in the Catholic social-democratic tradition, particularly the Communion and Liberation movement in the New Evangelization encouraged under the papacy of Polish Pope John Paul II. At the close of the twentieth the future Cardinal Ratzinger would write an introduction to a 1996 reissue of Guardini's 1954 classic "The Lord".
Ratzinger became a professor at the University of Bonn in 1959, his inaugural lecture was on "The God of Faith and the God of Philosophy". In 1963, he moved to the University of Münster. During this period, he participated in the Second Vatican Council (1962–65) and served as a peritus (theological consultant) to Cardinal Frings of Cologne. He was viewed during the time of the Council as a reformer, cooperating with theologians like Hans Küng and Edward Schillebeeckx. Ratzinger became an admirer of Karl Rahner, a well-known academic theologian of the Nouvelle Théologie and a proponent of church reform.
In 1966, Ratzinger was appointed to a chair in dogmatic theology at the University of Tübingen, where he was a colleague of Hans Küng. In his 1968 book Introduction to Christianity, he wrote that the pope has a duty to hear differing voices within the Church before making a decision, and he downplayed the centrality of the papacy. During this time, he distanced himself from the atmosphere of Tübingen and the Marxist leanings of the student movement of the 1960s that quickly radicalised, in the years 1967 and 1968, culminating in a series of disturbances and riots in April and May 1968. Ratzinger came increasingly to see these and associated developments (such as decreasing respect for authority among his students) as connected to a departure from traditional Catholic teachings. Despite his reformist bent, his views increasingly came to contrast with the liberal ideas gaining currency in theological circles.
Some voices, among them Küng, deem this a turn towards conservatism, while Ratzinger himself said in a 1993 interview, "I see no break in my views as a theologian [over the years]". Ratzinger continued to defend the work of the Second Vatican Council, including Nostra aetate, the document on respect of other religions, ecumenism and the declaration of the right to freedom of religion. Later, as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Ratzinger most clearly spelled out the Catholic Church's position on other religions in the 2000 document Dominus Iesus which also talks about the Catholic way to engage in "ecumenical dialogue". During his time at Tübingen University, Ratzinger published articles in the reformist theological journal Concilium, though he increasingly chose less reformist themes than other contributors to the magazine such as Küng and Schillebeeckx.
In 1969, he returned to Bavaria, to the University of Regensburg and co-founded the theological journal Communio, with Hans Urs von Balthasar, Henri de Lubac, Walter Kasper and others, in 1972. Communio, now published in seventeen languages, including German, English and Spanish, has become a prominent journal of contemporary Catholic theological thought. Until his election as pope, he remained one of the journal's most prolific contributors. In 1976, he suggested that the Augsburg Confession [the primary confession of faith of the Lutheran Church and one of the most important documents of the Lutheran Reformation] might possibly be recognised as a Catholic statement of faith. Several of Benedict's former students became his confidantes, notably Christoph Schönborn, and a number of his former students sometimes meet for
discussions. He served as Vice President of the University of Regensburg from 1976 to 1977.
Archbishop of Munich and Freising: 1977–1982
On 24 March 1977, Ratzinger was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising. He took as his episcopal motto Cooperatores Veritatis (Co-workers of the Truth) from 3 John 8, a choice he comments upon in his autobiographical work, Milestones. In the consistory of the following 27 June, he was named Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria Consolatrice al Tiburtino by Pope Paul VI. By the time of the 2005 Conclave, he was one of only 14 remaining cardinals appointed by Paul VI, and one of only three of those under the age of 80. Of these, only he and William Wakefield Baum took part in the conclave.
Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: 1981–2005
On 25 November 1981, Pope John Paul II, upon the retirement of Franjo Šeper, named Ratzinger as the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly known as the "Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office", the historical Roman Inquisition. Consequently, he resigned his post at Munich in early 1982. He was promoted within the College of Cardinals to become Cardinal Bishop of Velletri-Segni in 1993 and was made the college's vice-dean in 1998 and dean in 2002. Just a year after its foundation in 1990 Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger joined the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in Salzburg/Austria in 1991.
Ratzinger defended and reaffirmed Catholic doctrine, including teaching on topics such as birth control, homosexuality and inter-religious dialogue. The theologian Leonardo Boff, for example, was suspended, while others such as Matthew Fox were censured. Other issues also prompted condemnations or revocations of rights to teach: for instance, some posthumous writings of Jesuit priest Anthony de Mello were the subject of a notification. Ratzinger and the congregation viewed many of them, particularly the later works, as having an element of religious indifferentism (i.e., Christ was "one master alongside others"). In particular, Dominus Iesus, published by the congregation in the jubilee year 2000, reaffirmed many recently "unpopular" ideas, including the Catholic Church's position that "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." The document angered many Protestant churches by claiming that they are not actually churches, but "ecclesial communities".
Ratzinger's 2001 letter De delictis gravioribus clarified the confidentiality of internal church investigations, as defined in the 1962 document Crimen Sollicitationis, into accusations made against priests of certain crimes, including sexual abuse. This became a subject of controversy during the sex abuse cases. For 20 years, Ratzinger had been the man in charge of enforcing the document. While bishops hold the secrecy pertained only internally, and did not preclude investigation by civil law enforcement, the letter was often seen as promoting a coverup. Later, as pope, he was accused in a lawsuit of conspiring to cover up the molestation of three boys in Texas, but sought and obtained diplomatic immunity from liability.
On 12 March 1983, Ratzinger, as prefect, notified the lay faithful and the clergy that Archbishop Pierre Martin Ngo Dinh Thuc had incurred excommunication latae sententiae for illicit episcopal consecrations without the apostolic mandate. In 1997, when he turned 70, Ratzinger asked Pope John Paul II for permission to leave the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith and to become an archivist in the Vatican Secret Archives and a librarian in the Vatican Library, but Pope John Paul ll refused his assent.
Benedict XVI was elected the 265th pope at the age of 78. He is the oldest person to have been elected pope since Pope Clement XII (1730–40). He served longer as a cardinal before becoming Pope than any Pontiff since Benedict XIII (1724–30). Benedict and his Polish predecessor John Paul II were the first consecutive non-Italian popes since the seven consecutive Frenchmen of the Avignon Papacy (1309–78). The last pope named Benedict was Benedict XV, an Italian who reigned from 1914 to 1922, during World War I (1914–18).
On 2 January 2005, Time magazine quoted unnamed Vatican sources as saying that Ratzinger was a front runner to succeed John Paul II should he die or become too ill to continue as pope. On the death of John Paul II, the Financial Times gave the odds of Ratzinger becoming pope as 7–1, the lead position, but close to his rivals on the liberal wing of the church. In April 2005, before his election as pope, he was identified as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time. While Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Ratzinger repeatedly stated he would like to retire to his house in the Bavarian village of Pentling near Regensburg and dedicate himself to writing books.
At the conclave, "it was, if not Ratzinger, who? And as they came to know him, the question became, why not Ratzinger?" On 19 April 2005, he was elected on the second day after four ballots. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor described the final vote, "It's very solemn when you go up one by one to put your vote in the urn and you're looking up at the Last Judgement of Michelangelo. And I still remember vividly the then Cardinal Ratzinger sitting on the edge of his chair." Ratzinger had hoped to retire peacefully and said that "At a certain point, I prayed to God 'please don't do this to me'...Evidently, this time He didn't listen to me." Before his first appearance on the balcony of Saint Peter's Basilica, he was announced by Jorge Medina Estévez, Cardinal Protodeacon of the Catholic Church. Cardinal Medina Estévez first addressed the massive crowd as "dear(est) brothers and sisters" in Italian, Spanish, French, German and English, with each language receiving cheers from the international crowd, before continuing with the traditional Habemus Papam announcement in Latin.
At the balcony, Benedict's first words to the crowd, given in Italian before he gave the traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing in Latin, were:
On 24 April, he celebrated the Papal Inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square, during which he was invested with the Pallium and the Ring of the Fisherman. On 7 May, he took possession of his cathedral church, the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran.
Dear brothers and sisters, after the great Pope John Paul II, the Cardinals have elected me, a simple, humble labourer in the vineyard of the Lord. The fact that the Lord knows how to work and to act even with insufficient instruments comforts me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers. In the joy of the Risen Lord, confident of his unfailing help, let us move forward. The Lord will help us, and Mary, His Most Holy Mother, will be on our side. Thank you.
Choice of name
Ratzinger chose the pontifical name Benedict, which comes from the Latin word meaning "the blessed", in honour of both Pope Benedict XV and Saint Benedict of Nursia. Pope Benedict XV was pope during the First World War, during which time he passionately pursued peace between the warring nations. St. Benedict of Nursia was the founder of the Benedictine monasteries (most monasteries of the Middle Ages were of the Benedictine order) and the author of the Rule of Saint Benedict, which is still the most influential writing regarding the monastic life of Western Christianity. The Pope explained his choice of name during his first general audience in St. Peter's Square, on 27 April 2005:
Filled with sentiments of awe and thanksgiving, I wish to speak of why I chose the name Benedict. Firstly, I remember Pope Benedict XV, that courageous prophet of peace, who guided the Church through turbulent times of war. In his footsteps I place my ministry in the service of reconciliation and harmony between peoples. Additionally, I recall Saint Benedict of Nursia, co-patron of Europe, whose life evokes the Christian roots of Europe. I ask him to help us all to hold firm to the centrality of Christ in our Christian life: May Christ always take first place in our thoughts and actions!
Tone of papacy
During his inaugural Mass, the previous custom of every cardinal submitting to the Pope was replaced by having twelve people, including cardinals, clergy, religious, a married couple and their child, and newly confirmed people, greet him. (The cardinals had formally sworn their obedience upon his election.) He began using an open-topped papal car, saying that he wanted to be closer to the people. Pope Benedict continued the tradition of his predecessor John Paul II and baptised several infants in the Sistine Chapel at the beginning of each year, in his pastoral role as Bishop of Rome.
On 11 February 2013, the Vatican confirmed that Benedict XVI would resign the papacy on 28 February 2013, as a result of his advanced age, becoming the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415. At the age of 85 years and 318 days on the effective date of his retirement, he was the fourth-oldest person to hold the office of pope. The move was considered unexpected. In modern times, all popes have stayed in office until death. Benedict is the first pope to have resigned without external pressure since Celestine V in 1294.
In a statement, Benedict cited his deteriorating strength and the physical and mental demands of the papacy; addressing his cardinals in Latin, Benedict gave a brief statement announcing his resignation. He also declared that he would continue to serve the church "through a life dedicated to prayer".
According to a statement from the Vatican, the timing of the resignation was not caused by any specific illness but was to "avoid that exhausting rush of Easter engagements". After two weeks of ceremonial farewells, the Pope left office at the appointed time and sede vacante was declared.
On the eve of the first anniversary of Benedict's resignation he wrote to La Stampa to deny speculation he had been forced to step down.
On the morning of 28 February 2013, Pope Benedict met with the full college of cardinals and in the early afternoon flew by helicopter to the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo. He stayed there until refurbishment was completed on his retirement home, the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in the Vatican Gardens near St Peter's, formerly home to 12 nuns, where he moved on 2 May 2013. To protect it there will be a thick hedge and a fence. It has more than 2,000 square meters of garden that overlook the monastery and are adjacent to the current "Pope's garden". A few tens of meters away is the building of Vatican Radio.
"There isn't the slightest doubt about the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry," he wrote in a letter to the newspaper. "The only condition for the validity is the full freedom of the decision. Speculation about its invalidity is simply absurd," he wrote.
After his resignation, Benedict XVI retained his papal name rather than reverting to his birth name. He continued to wear the white cassock but without the pellegrina or the fascia. He ceased wearing red papal shoes. Benedict returned his official Fisherman's Ring, which is usually destroyed by Vatican officials on the death of a pope to prevent documents being counterfeited.
According to a Vatican spokesman, Benedict spent his first day as pope emeritus with Archbishop Georg Gänswein, the Prefect of the Papal Household. In the monastery, the pope emeritus will not live a cloistered life, but will study and write. The pope emeritus later joined his successor several months after his election at the unveiling of a new statue of Saint Michael the Archangel. The inscription on the statue, according to Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, would have the coat of arms of the two popes to symbolize the fact that statue was commissioned by Benedict XVI, and consecrated by Francis.
Benedict XVI made his first public appearance after his resignation at St. Peter's Basilica on 22 February 2014 to attend the first papal consistory of his successor Pope Francis. Benedict XVI, who entered the basilica through a discreet entrance, was seated in a row with several other cardinals. He doffed his zucchetto when Pope Francis came down the nave of St. Peter's Basilica to greet him. Furthermore, he made an appearance at the canonization mass of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, greeting the cardinals and Pope Francis.
In August 2014, Benedict XVI celebrated Mass at the Vatican and met with his former doctoral students, an annual tradition he has kept since the 1970s. He attended the beatification of Pope Paul VI in October 2014. Weeks before this, he joined Pope Francis in Saint Peter's Square for an audience with grandparents to honor their importance in society.
Benedict wrote the text of a speech, delivered by Archbishop Georg Gänswein, on the occasion of the dedication of the Aula Magna at the Pontifical Urbaniana University to the Pope Emeritus, "a gesture of gratitude for what he has done for the Church as a conciliar expert, with his teaching as professor, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and, finally, the Magisterium." The ceremony took place on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 during the opening of the academic year.
Benedict XVI attended the consistory for new cardinals in February 2015, greeting Pope Francis at the beginning of the celebration. In 2015, Benedict XVI, who now prefers to be known as "Father Benedict", spent the summer at Castel Gandolfo and participated in two public events. "Pope Francis invited Benedict XVI to spend some time in Castel Gandolfo in the month of July and Benedict accepted", Fr. Lombardi told journalists on 15 June. Benedict XVI remained there for two weeks. While in Castel Gandolfo, Benedict XVI received two honorary doctorates, given to him by Kraków's Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, John Paul II's longtime aide, from the Pontifical University of John Paul II and the Kraków Academy of Music. In his reception address, Benedict XVI paid homage to his predecessor, John Paul II.
The "Joseph Ratzinger–Benedict XVI Roman Library" at the Pontifical Teutonic College was announced in April 2015 and is scheduled to open to scholars in November 2015. The library section dedicated to his life and thought is being catalogued. It includes books by or about him and his studies, many donated by Benedict XVI himself.
Benedict XVI, in August 2015, submitted a handwritten card to act as a testimony to the cause of canonization of Pope John Paul I.
In March 2016 he gave an interview expressing his views on mercy and endorsing Pope Francis's stress on mercy in his pastoral practice. Also that month, a Vatican spokesman stated that Benedict XVI was "slowly, serenely fading" in his physical health, although his mental capacity remained "perfectly lucid".
The pope emeritus was honoured by the Roman Curia and Pope Francis in 2016 at a special audience, honouring the 65th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. Benedict XVI, later that year in November, did not attend the consistory for new cardinals, though he did meet with them and Pope Francis at his residence after the consistory had taken place.
On 28 June 2017, the Pope Emeritus received the newly created cardinals in his chapel and "spoke with all of them in their native tongue" while also remarking that they were "from the four continents, the whole church". He further said that "The Lord wins in the end" and "thank you all", he said, before giving them his blessing.
In July 2017, Benedict XVI sent a message through his private secretary Monsignor Gänswein for the occasion of the funeral of Cardinal Joachim Meisner, who had suddenly passed away while on vacation in Germany. In his message, the Pope Emeritus referred to Meisner as a "passionate shepherd and pastor" who found it "difficult to leave his post". The former pope also said that he had spoken on the telephone with Meisner the day before the latter died and related that Meisner was grateful to be on vacation after having been present for the beatification of Teofilius Matulionis in Vilnius.
In November 2017, images emerged on the Facebook page of the Bishop of Passau Stefan Oster of Benedict XVI with a black eye; the bishop and author Peter Seewald visited the former pope on 26 October since the pair were presenting Benedict XVI with the new book Benedict XVI - The German Pope which the Passau diocese created. The former pope suffered the injury earlier after having slipped after suffering an hematoma.
The coat of arms of Pope Benedict XVI was designed by then Archbishop Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo (who later was created a Cardinal) soon after the papal election. Benedict's coat of arms omitted the papal tiara, which traditionally appears in the background to designate the pope's position as a worldly ruler like a king, replacing it with a simple mitre, emphasising his spiritual authority.
Gules, chape in or, with the scallop shell of the second; the dexter chape with a moor's head in natural colour, crowned and collared of the first, the sinister chape a bear trippant in natural colour, carrying a pack gules belted sable
Scallop shell: The symbolism of the scallop shell is multiple; one reference is to Saint Augustine. While a doctoral candidate in 1953, Fr. Joseph Ratzinger wrote his dissertation on The People of God and the House of God in Augustine's Teaching is always about the Church, and therefore has a personal connection with the thought of this great Doctor of the Church.
Moor of Freising: The Moor's head is an heraldic charge associated with Freising, Germany.
Corbinian's bear: A legend states that while travelling to Rome, Saint Corbinian's pack horse was killed by a bear. He commanded the bear to carry the load. Once he arrived, he released it from his service, and it returned to Bavaria. The implication is that "Christianity tamed and domesticated the ferocity of paganism and thus laid the foundations for a great civilisation in the Duchy of Bavaria." At the same time, Corbinian's bear, as God's beast of burden, symbolises the weight of office that Benedict carried.
Adapted from here.