April 19th marked the 5th anniversary of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. (It also marked the birth of my second son, which is why I’m a little late to the celebration). Following are some links commemorating the occasion:
- Acton President Rev. Robert A. Sirico and Kishore Jayabalan, the Director of Acton’s Rome office on the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI — a dicussion with Al Kresta on Kresta in the Afternoon.
- Pope Benedict’s Rookie Year as a Priest – Before he was Pope Benedict XVI, or Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, our new pope was a young Bavarian seminarian. In his autobiography,
Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977, Joseph Ratzinger recounts his ordination on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul in Freising, Germany, in 1951, and his first years as a parish priest and then completing his doctorate while teaching at the seminary.
- From Catholic News Service: After having collaborated on children’s books about Pope Benedict XVI, Msgr. Georg Ganswein — his personal secretary — is celebrating the fifth anniversary of the pope’s election with his own book, “Benedict XVI: Urbi et Orbi” looking at the pope’s public encounters with the faithful and with other visitors in Rome and around the world.
As Msgr. Gänswein says in his introduction to the book, in Mark’s Gospel Jesus tells the apostles to go to every corner of the earth to preach the Gospel, and so the successor of Peter has to do the same in order to bring “the words of eternal life” to the ends of the earth.
The photos are beautiful shots of Pope Benedict in different places, including a great photo of him walking hand-in-hand with a select group of young people at World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany. There’s even a picture of the Holy Father meeting Governor General Michaëlle Jean and her daughter Marie-Eden.
- At the five-year mark, “two key objectives of Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate have come into clear focus: creating space for religion in the public sphere and space for God in private lives”, says John Thavis (Catholic News Service).
- Close to 1,200 students from Roman universities signed a letter congratulating Benedict XVI for the fifth anniversary of his election to the See of Peter. (Zenit News Service).
- Benedict has already left its mark on the Church, says Carmen Elena Villa, in a survey of highlights of his pontificate to date, not to mention significant facts (with 142 published works, he holds the papal record for having written most books before taking the Chair of Peter).
- “Reigniting the Word of God” (National Catholic Register April 21, 2010). According to biblical scholar Scott Hahn, emblematic to Benedict’s pontificate is the centrality on the word of God:
That’s where he has kept our focus — not on fads or scandals or the world’s alarms. Christ, the Word Incarnate, is the solution to every world crisis. Pope Benedict has invited us, insistently and consistently, to encounter Christ in the word inspired, the sacred Scriptures. And he has done this through some very large labors. …
- To commemorate the fifth anniversary of this historic event for the Catholic Church, Catholic World Report asked its contributors to reflect on these first years of Pope Benedict’s pontificate:
Priest, Prophet, King
Three ways Benedict has exemplified these three roles
By Father Joseph Fessio, S.J.
Reform within Continuity
A proper understanding of Vatican II has been paramount in Benedict’s pontificate.
By Father Matthew Lamb
Why Do the Media Rage?
Pope Benedict’s pontificate has caught the media and dissidents alike by surprise.
By Philip F. Lawler
Pope Benedict’s Patristic Perspective
A student of the past, a prophet of the future
By Father David Vincent Meconi, S.J.
Planting the Seeds of Reform
Future generations will have much for which to thank Benedict.
By George Neumayr
Benedict Contra Mundum
In Pope Benedict, “Peter is still here.”
By Carl E. Olson
A Pope Who Thinks in Centuries
Benedict sees the Church as a divine institution with a historical mission.
By Tracey Rowland
A Fatherly Figure
History will vindicate the paternal care Benedict has shown for the Church.
By Robert Royal
A scholarly pope who also listens
By Father James V. Schall, S.J.
Retrieval and Reintegration
Benedict’s efforts to let the past inform and guide the Church’s future
By Father Robert Sirico
Get to know Pope Benedict XVI …
The Essential Pope Benedict XVI
Edited by John F. Thornton & Susan B. Varenne, with introduction by D. Vincent Twomey, S.V.D.
On April 24, 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI, the successor of the Apostle Peter and the spiritual leader of more than one billion Roman Catholics. This collection lays out Benedict’s thinking and relates it to a variety of contemporary issues, including modern culture’s abandonment of traditional religious values, social mores regarding conception and the sanctity of life, current challenges to the priesthood, and the Catholic Church’s relations with other world religions.
Benedict XVI: An Intimate Portrait
In the person of Benedict XVI, the Church has a Pope who is one of the most significant of Europe’s intellectuals. The journalist Peter Seewald, who has known Ratzinger since 1992, conducted the longest interviews in Church history with him for two books which were best-sellers world-wide, Salt of the Earth, and God and the World. Now, for the first time, Seewald describes these intensive encounters in detail, and draws a portrait of this brilliant theologian who has put his life entirely at the service of the Catholic Church. This book is also the story of a long dialogue that changed Seewald’s life. Many people are trying to understand who Benedict XVI really is. On one point they all agree: in the person of Joseph Ratzinger, the chair of Peter is occupied by one of the most brilliant minds in the world. Peter Seewald’s portrait of Benedict recounts details about the personality and life of Benedict that were hitherto completely unknown.’
Pope Benedict XVI: The Conscience of Our Age
Fr. D. Vincent Twomey, a former doctoral student of Joseph Ratzinger and long time friend of the Pope, felt the need to respond to the common question he heard often after the papal election, “What kind of person is the new Pope?” So often Twomey had read false depictions of both the man and his thought, especially the image presented by the media as a grim enforcer.
Twomey offers here a unique double–presentation of the man, Pope Benedict XVI — a “theological portrait” that encompasses both an overview of the writings, teachings and thought of the brilliant theologian and spiritual writer, as well as the man himself, and his personality traits and how he communicates with others.
Twomey shows that the secret to the serene dignified behavior of Benedict is that he is open to beauty as much as truth, that he lives outside himself, and is not preoccupied with his own self. He also is a man that Twomey says “has the courage to be imperfect”, showing he has a deep humility and strives for teaching the truth even when misunderstood or not presented as well as he would like.