What if Pope Francis surprises us once more?
On July 1-4, another meeting of the Council of Cardinals appointed by Pope Francis to counsel him on the Curia reform and on the government of the universal Church will take place. It is an important meeting, since it would reportedly set for the first time the new ‘blueprint’ of the Roma [...]
John XXIII and John Paul II, the Popes who tore down walls
To canonize John XXIII and John Paul II at the same time, Pope Francis has not hesitated to slightly bypass canonization procedures in not waiting for confirmation of a second miracle attributable to John XXIII. And this was most certainly the right course to take. John XXIII and John Paul II are of [...]
Pope Francis, between Roncalli’s and Martini’s utopias
The Roman Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls has been entrusted to Benedictines for 1300 years. There was such a strong tradition of ecumenical dialogue there, that Benedict XVI ultimately decided to give the basilica a specific mandate to promote ecumenism. Popes have been concluding the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity [...]
Pope Francis, a great Shepard. Will he be capable of governing?
He won over the crowd from the very first moment he showed up from the balcony in the Blessings Lodge by simply saying «Buonasera». Then, he won over the sister Churches underlining no less than three times that he was (just) the «bishop of Rome» and never referring to himself as Pope. Finally, [...]
Welcome back, professor Ratzinger. Benedict’s legacy
In front of the Roman clergy, he spoke for one hour off-the-cuff, with no hesitation and with a certain serenity. And he denounced one of the “issues” with the Church, probably for him the pivotal one. Which is that there had been two Second Vatican Councils: one of the Fathers [...]
The Year of the Five Patriarchs: A Chance for Unity
Ultimately, is an upstairs/downstairs exercise. Go up a number of steps and then come down a few and meet in the middle. Tawadros II, the new Coptic-Orthodox Patriarch of Egypt, had to go up three steps during his enthronement ceremony. At every step, one of his titles was proclaimed: bishop of bishops, [...]
Benedict XVI and the challenge of ecumenism
The most beautiful Benedict XVI’s lesson on ecumenism was probably the homily he held during the Holy Mass that concluded the last Schuelerkreis meeting – i.e. the circle of ex Ratinzger’s students that rejoins once a year since the end of 70s. The Pope invited is pupils not to limit themselves to [...]
Benedict XVI’s effort for Unity. What will be of it?
«To work tirelessly to rebuild the full and visible unity of all Christ’s followers». This is the «impelling duty» of the successor of Peter. Already in the first Message after his election to the Papal Throne, Pope Benedict XVI spoke these programmatic words. The cause of ecumenism has always been central in this [...]
Turning back to God. The gift of Benedict XVI to the Church of Germany. And to all the Church.
«Turn back to God» Benedict XVI’s appeal was not only addressed to the Church of Germany. It is a general appeal to Europe, to the several religious confessions, to the world. This appeal strongly echoed during the visit of Benedict XVI to his homeland, and it has been linked with two other [...]