Pope Benedict XVI’s Message to the World for the Summer of 2021

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The Holy Father conceded a lengthy interview to Herder Correspondenz, a German language publication which covers Church issues in Germany.  Those of us who do not have access to that publication or who cannot read German have not yet heard what the Holy Father said, so, FromRome.Info, having received an accurate English translation of the interview shares it here for all the Faithful.

FromRome.Info has not corrected nor edited this text, since the original belongs by copyright to Herder Correspondenz. Anyone wanting to publish the entire text in English or any other language must contact them directly. The text below is for Catholics everywhere who want to cite some passage from the interview in English for an article or blog post.

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12 thoughts on “Pope Benedict XVI’s Message to the World for the Summer of 2021”

  1. A tender recollection, even an extremely rare one to come from any bishop, let alone the Supreme Pontiff. I found myself recalling those homilies for children’s Masses in which a young priest would ask questions of the children so as to engage them the more. & evening confessions! Was fortunate enough to be raised in a parish where these were heard even on Thursday nights anticipating 1st Fridays & Saturdays….

  2. On top of page 12 the translator says that there must be a printing error in the German original, but this is not true. The original is correct. The correct translation is:
    My experience during the year in Bogenhausen had shown me that many of the functions concerning the structure and life of the church were performed by people who did not share the faith of the church at all.

    1. From the choice of words, in the German original, is the Holy Father referring to laypeople in the Parish of Bogenhausen, or other members of the clergy?

      1. With my own experience I think he could only mean the laypeople in the former times. But in our days now I think that the poison of unbelief has even reached members of the clergy. But Pope Benedict is speaking from former times.

  3. Excellent, Mr. Bauer, we are in your debt. And yours Brother Alexis. It is a beautiful and moving reflection by Pope Benedict baring his heart and may be classified as the fourth of his major ‘interventions,’ as I call them, of the last eight dark years.

    This text applies to the clergy, Brother Alexis, clearly by context, “for whom faith is just a function,” going “through the motions” without any true belief, as Pope Benedict discusses further on in the same passage.

    See for example page 13:

    “Sadly I encountered this phenomenon repeatedly [as a young priest in Germany],” says Holy Father Benedict…. And perhaps elsewhere later on, but this is unstated even if the parallels are certainly clear.

    So the Faith was already dead or dying among many of the German clergy and hierarchy 70 years ago.

    A comment on Entweltlichung. Perhaps you can enlighten us as the hermit life seems to embody the term, or you Mr. Bauer, for it seems to me that the (barbaric) neologism “deworldification” from the journalists is not at all helpful.

    “In the world but not of the world” seems to capture its essence on a classical Catholic perennial view. Detachment from the world, rather than withdrawing from the world also seems to me to be the main idea.

    The other crucial term is “Amt,” particularly its first usage on page one: ” as only the second pope to voluntarily retire from his ‘Amt'” in history, the other of course being Pope Celestine V, Blessed Peter of Morone. We must recall Pope Benedict clearly declared his resignation was not at all like that of Pope Celestine. Pope Celestine threw off on December 13, 1294 the papacy entire: the Petrine Charge; office; the power; and the clothes. he pled incapacity and he threw himself at the cardinals’ feet; begged their pardon; arose; fled Rome, and went back to being a simple monk. He went on the lam, was captured by troops of Pope Boniface XIII who confined him in a castle. He died a simple monk saying at the end: “All I ever wanted was a cell; and a cell they have given me.”

    So did the journalist overreach, color the facts, and misspeak in saying Benedict resigned the Amt? Seems to me like an editorial comment that Pope Benedict never read or subscribed to in advance.

    I’d be curious as to the most accurate translation.

    Mr. Bauer?

  4. Errata: Pope Boniface VIII, Cardinal Gaetani, succeeded Pope Celestine upon the latter’s resignation.

  5. The Bible says: Dont call No Man your Father, for your Father is the Holy Ghost. Who is the pope to call himself a “Father”?

    1. Our Lord Jesus Christ says that we should call no man our Father, not because one may is our biological father, but because GOD in adopting us in Baptism has become OUR DIVINE FATHER and we should put our first and all attending in obeying Him from there onwards.

      In the Catholic Church, we call priests and the Pope a father, not because they are fathers, but because they lead us to the One Father in Heaven.

    2. You might want to read the text more carefully: Jesus does not say the Holy Spirit is “Father.” Moreover, in context, our Lord was addressing the error of counting salvation as a matter of human descent as expressed in the pseudo-claim, “We have Abraham as our Father.” We call priests & bishops “Father” inasmuch as their ordination empowers them to generate divine life in us by the Sacraments. In that respect, you may wish to consult 1 Cor 4:15.

  6. “Meine Erfahrung in dem Bogenhausener Jahr hatte mir gezeigt, dass viele der die Struktur und das Leben in der Kirche betreffenden Funktionen von MENSCHEN wahrgenommen wurden, die den Glauben der Kirche keineswegs teilten. So musste ihr Zeugnis auch in vielem als fragwürdig erscheinen. Glaube und Unglaube waren auf eine merkwürdige Weise
    miteinander vermischt, und dies musste irgendwann zum Vorschein kommen und einen Zusammenbruch hervorrufen, der den Glauben schließlich begraben würde. Eine Scheidung war notwendig, so kam es mir vor.”

    MENSCHEN = PEOPLE. But the context is : people who have an official function;

    What follows about the Donatists shows that he is more explicitly referring to BISHOPS (who had compromised with the State:

    “Der Donatismus war am Ende der Verfolgungszeit in Nordafrika entstanden, als BISCHÖFE, die sich mit dem heidnischen Staat kompromittiert hatten, nun weitermachten, als ob sie immer treue Hirten gewesen wären. Nicht wenige Gläubige wollten aber solche Hirten nicht anerkennen.”

    When, in a following passage, he speaks about the Church institutions (hospitals, schools, Caristas) he uses again the more general word of PERSONS. These can be (and in Germany today often are) lay people.

    “Dieses Problem stellt sich seither immer noch deutlicher. In den kirchlichen Einrichtungen – Krankenhäusern, Schulen, Caritas – wirken viele PERSONEN an entscheidenden Stellen mit, die den inneren Auftrag der Kirche nicht mittragen und damit das Zeugnis dieser Einrichtung vielfach verdunkeln. Dies wirkt sich vor allen Dingen auch in Verlautbarungen und öffentlichen Stellungnahmen aus.”

    But then, in a final development, he refers to authors of official texts :

    “Nun, inzwischen ist es leider weitgehend so, dass die AMTLICHEN Texte der Kirche in Deutschland weitgehend von LEUTEN geformt werden, für die der Glaube nur amtlich ist.”

    LEUTE = PEOPLE, but “AMTLICH” implies bishops.

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