Emeritus Pope Benedict, who is now 94, in a photo from several years ago, when he was in his 80s. He has just released a new interview (in writing, not in person) on the state of the Church in Germany, his native country (see below).     He focuses on the question of true faith, which he says is threatened by an attitude of Church members treating the work of the Church as a bureaucratic job. The original text in German is here    Below, Fr Joseph Ratzinger as a young parish priest in Germany in the early 1950s, when he was 24 and 25. He was ordained in 1951 at the age of 24.    The interview was conducted in relation to his 70th anniversary as a priest (1951-2021)    Pope Benedict XVI on August 28, 2010, at age 83. He retired two and a half years later, in February 2013, now eight and a half years ago (L’Osservatore Romano)
    “Was I a good priest?” —Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, in a written exchange with a German interviewer on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of his ordination in 1951 (1951-2012)    “Whether I have been a good priest and pastor, I dare not judge. I tried to live up to the demands of my ministry and ordination.” —Ibid.    ”It seemed important to me then, as it does now, to take the person out of the cover of office and expect a real personal testimony of faith from the spokesmen of the Church.” —Ibid.===============    Letter #68, 2021, Monday, July 26: Faith    Here is the report of Catholic News Agency on the new interview of Pope Benedict XVI, 94, on the 70th anniversary of his ordination.    ***    Benedict XVI laments lack of faith within Church institutions in Germany    By CNA Staff    Freiburg, Germany, Jul 26, 2021 / 06:30 am    Pope emeritus Benedict XVI has expressed concern about the lack of faith within Church institutions in Germany.    The retired Pope made the comments in a written conversation in the August issue of the German magazine Herder Korrespondenz, marking the 70th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood, reported CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner.    “In Church institutions — hospitals, schools, Caritas — many people participate in decisive positions who do not share the inner mission of the Church and thus in many cases obscure the witness of this institution,” he said.    In an exchange with Tobias Winstel, the 94-year-old reflected on the concept of the “Amtskirche,” a German term that can be translated as “institutional Church” and is used to refer to the large number of Church-tax funded structures and institutions in Germany.    He wrote: “The word ‘Amtskirche’ was coined to express the contrast between what is officially demanded and what is personally believed. The word ‘Amtskirche’ insinuates an inner contradiction between what the faith actually demands and signifies and its depersonalization.”    He suggested that many texts issued by the German Church were crafted by people for whom faith was largely institutional.    “In this sense, I must admit that for a large part of institutional Church texts in Germany, the word ‘Amtskirche’ does indeed apply,” he commented.    He continued: “As long as in institutional Church texts only the office, but not the heart and the spirit, speak, so long the exodus from the world of faith will continue.”    Benedict, who was prefect of Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith before he was elected Pope, said: “That’s why it seemed important to me then, as it does now, to take the person out of the cover of office and expect a real personal testimony of faith from the spokesmen of the Church.”    In the conversation, Benedict also discussed an issue that he had highlighted in 2011, during his final trip to Germany before his resignation as Pope in 2013.    In an address in Freiburg, a university town in southwest Germany, he implicitly criticized aspects of the German Church, referring to a tendency to give “greater weight to organization and institutionalization” than to the Church’s “vocation to openness towards God.”    Benedict called in the speech for a “Church that is detached from worldliness,” using the German phrase “entweltlichte Kirche.”    The former Pope told Herder Korrespondenz that he now felt that the term was inadequate.    “The word ‘Entweltlichung’ [‘detachment from worldliness’] indicates the negative part of the movement I am concerned with,” he wrote. “The positive is not sufficiently expressed by it.”    Rather, he said, it is about stepping out of the constraints of a particular time “into the freedom of faith.”    In the written exchange, Benedict also warned Catholics against the danger of seeking a “flight into pure doctrine.”    Benedict, who was the Vatican’s doctrinal chief from 1982 to 2005, said that attempting such a flight was “completely unrealistic.”    “A doctrine that would exist like a nature preserve separated from the daily world of faith and its needs would be at the same time an abandonment of faith itself,” he said.    In the conversation, Benedict was also asked whether he was a good pastor when he served at Precious Blood church in the Bogenhausen district of Munich after his ordination on June 29, 1951.    “Whether I have been a good priest and pastor, I dare not judge,” he replied, adding that he had tried “to live up to the demands of my ministry and ordination.”=======    Note to readers    Here is a link to an interview I gave on Tuesday, July 20, to Jim Hale of LifeSiteNews.    P.S. At the 36:49 mark we begin to talk about a pilgrimage to the Shenandoah Valley. You might take a look at those few seconds and consider whether you might like to join us toward the end of October when all the Valley is ablaze with the red, orange and gold of the changing leaves. (Click here for a link to the Information and Registration Packet)    ***    “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”  – Psalm 31:24 The Shenandoah Valley Experience PilgrimageOctober 24 – 29, 2021        From the rolling waters of the Shenandoah River to the rich, orange sunsets of Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains; from the bountiful farmland of this river valley to the many National Shrines in the area; we will encounter the beating heart of the Church and America today. Come to renew your soul, rest your mind, and ignite your heart.    Click the button below to view the itinerary and to see available booking options. Space is limited so don’t miss out!Shenandoah Valley Experience Pilgrimage 2021      Nonprofits like our own Urbi et Orbi Communications need help weathering the current storms. We do this work in partnership with you: we want you to be informed, to have a sense of the current climate of the Church, and to know both where there is hope for the future and where there is danger of losing sight of Truth. (continued below)    We ask you to support Urbi et Orbi Communications with a small or large contribution, at this difficult time, in order…    (1) to keep Inside the Vatican Magazine (which we have published since its founding in 1993, 27 years ago) independent and comprehensive… a unique lens into the Church and the World. Now available to you digitally as well as in print!    (2) to ensure that Inside the Vatican Pilgrimages can keep creating encounters for you with the Heart of the Churches, the homes of the Saints, and the Living Stones — the people — of whom the Church is built. Now offering you virtual pilgrimages from your home computer! (see below for more information)    (3) to help bring the Churches closer together by “Building Bridges” to heal the schisms of the Church — East and West — through our Urbi et Orbi Foundation.    (4) to sustain our occasional news and editorial emails, The Moynihan Letters, bringing the latest valuable information and insight like no other source to thousands of readers around the worldYour Donation is AppreciatedManage Your SubscriptionThis message was sent to rhg1923@gmail.com from MoynihanReport@gmail.com

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About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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