Father Lombardi’s comments came as news broke that Pope Benedict XVI is ready to publish his first book as Pope, “Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration.”
“I find it extraordinary that despite the commitments and concerns of his pontificate, Benedict XVI has been able to bring to maturation a work of great academci and spiritual effort,” he said.
“The Holy Father says he has dedicated all of his spare time to this project. This is a very significant indication about the importance and urgency of this work for him,” Father Lombardi noted.
The Pope’s book is part of his mission to “strengthen the faith of the brethren,” the Vatican spokesman continued, “and he does so regarding a central point of the faith, that is, Jesus Christ.” He called it a “great work of exegesis and theology, but also a great work of spirituality.”
Father Lombardi recalled his own encounter as a young man with Ratzinger’s first book, “Introduction to Christianity,” saying he was confident this new work would not leave readers disappointed. “We…will be immensely grateful to the Pope for his witness as a thinker, a scholar, and a man of faith regarding the most essential point of the entire Christian faith,” he stated.
.- The director of the Holy See’s Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, said it was “very wonderful news” that Pope Benedict XVI “has been able to finish the first part of his great work on Jesus and that in few months we will have it in our hands.”