Loading
On 86th birthday, Benedict praised as deeply humble
Pope Benedict XVI. Credit: Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk.
Pope Benedict XVI. Credit: Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk.

.- As Benedict XVI celebrates his 86th birthday on April 16, the author of a new book on the legacy of the retired pontiff says his humility largely inspired the work.

“I was...fond of Benedict because he was truly humble man,” Charles Coulombe, author of “The Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI,” told CNA April 15.

“He was kind of shy and retiring, but he was willing to re-invigorate the trappings of the papacy, not for his own benefit, but for that of the office. And that's true humility.”

The book, released in March, discusses the Church and the office of the papacy, gives a biographical sketch of Benedict's life, and addresses the reforms which the Pope undertook during his pontificate.

“It's a good, quick introduction to both the Church and the papacy for those who don't know anything about it, and it will be useful for those trying to figure out the areas in which (Pope Francis') papacy will be facing challenges,” he said.

The Los Angeles, Calif.-based author and historian said he was inspired to write it because he considered Benedict to have been “the best Pope I've lived under.”

Coulombe is most fond of Benedict because his work seemed particularly to “reflect what people in parishes and dioceses were living through in their Catholic lives.”

While acknowledging that the other Popes, since Paul VI, have had their own strengths and accomplishments, Coulombe says that Benedict's care for such issues as the appointment of bishops were what “really concretely affects the life of the individual Catholic at the end of the day.”

“Benedict seems to understand that if you're a believing Catholic, it's been pretty tough.”

Coulombe described living through a period dominated by the “hermeneutic of rupture” – a view that sees a fundamental break between the Church as it existed before and after the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, and of which Benedict spoke of in his first Christmas address to the Roman Curia

He said that the Bishop Emeritus of Rome was the “first authoritative individual” to address that problem “in which the average Catholic lives.”

Benedict's 2005 Christmas address to the Roman Curia, in which he defined the “hermeneutic of continuity,” is the key to understanding his pontificate, Coulombe said.

Among the four key areas of concern for him was the breach between the Church of the present and that of the past, which Benedict sought to heal with this interpretive lens.

The other three areas which Benedict's reform focused on, said Coulombe, are a “cleaning house” – or as his wrote in his book, “cleansing of the aberrations that have grown up within her – as well as reunion with other Christian bodies” and “addressing the great powers of this earth on behalf of the faith.”

These are areas in which Benedict began or continued reformation, and much remains for Pope Francis to continue with. “None of the areas Benedict worked in were 'solved,'” Coulombe said.

As Pope Francis' pontificate continues, he concluded, “this Pope, and his successor, and his successor, will have to deal with them.”

Coulombe's new work, released last month, is available in several e-book formats from Diversion Books for $4.99.

Tags: Benedict XVI


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Aug
22

Liturgical Calendar

August 22, 2014

The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 22:34-40

Gospel
Date
08/22/14
08/19/14
08/18/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Ezek 37: 1-14
Gospel:: Mt 22: 34-40

Saint of the Day

Queenship of Mary »

Saint
Date
08/19/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 22:34-40

Homily
Date
08/22/14
08/19/14
08/18/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: