President of the Italian Christian Democratic Party, Rocco Buttiglione, spoke with CNA following the morning sessions of the Hildebrand Project's first day of a conference on love. He remarked that standing in solidarity with Pope Benedict XVI is rediscovering our encounter with Christ.
The Catholic politician spoke during his presentation about parallels and distinctions between Dietrich von Hildebrand and Joseph Ratzinger's thoughts on love.
Buttiglione talked to CNA afterward about the how the Church can express its love to the Successor of St. Peter today. He explained that we are in the Church because of our encounter with Christ and our realization that he "has our true identity (which is) more intimate to us than our nature of identity and this recognition puts us together.
"The big scandal," he went on, "is that the people should look at the community of Christians and say, 'How much do they love one other!' 'What an extraordinary kind of event must have taken place among them!'"
But this is not always the case, explained Buttiglione, because love is not seen in the building of the community.
In this regard, he observed, as a great theologian of "Communio," Pope Benedict XVI's entire life is "an attempt to be a witness" to the "event" of the bringing about the "present" of Jesus Christ here on earth.
Loving the Pope today, he said, is rediscovering "the present" and "the possibility" of this event and it entails finding people with whom to create this spirit. It can't be done alone, he explained.
Concluding his thoughts on the expression of solidarity within the Church and towards the Pope, Buttiglione said, "The Church is a brotherhood and you must complete it with persons you consider brothers and with whom you live as brothers."