Thursday 30 May 2013

2 encyclicals - one on Faith and one on Poverty

As someone fluent in Italian, I try to keep an eye on Church websites in Italy as you can pick up bits and pieces of information you don't get elsewhere.

The website of diocese of Molfetta, Ruvo, Giovinazz and Terlizzi has an article by the bishop on his recent ad limina visit to Rome.

Molfetta is a lovely little city in the south of Italy - visit if you get the chance.

It's clear that the Archishop, Luigi Martella, was entranced by the new Pope.  You can read the whole piece here.

What was of most interest was the chat about Pope Benedict and two upcoming encyclicals.  Don Gino writes:   Poi ci ha parlato con tanta tenerezza di Benedetto XVI: “Quando l’ho incontrato la prima volta a Castelgandolfo, ho notato che aveva una memoria lucidissima – ha detto – anche se fisicamente provato. Ora sta decisamente meglio”. Infine, ha voluto fare una confidenza, quasi una rivelazione: Benedetto XVI sta terminando di scrivere l’ enciclica sulla fede che sarà firmata da Papa Francesco. In seguito, intenderà egli stesso approntare la sua prima enciclica sui poveri: Beati pauperes! La povertà – ha precisato - intesa non in senso ideologico e politico, ma in senso evangelico.

Allow me to translate roughly:

Then we spoke with such tenderness of Benedict XVI:  "When I first met him at Castel Gandolfo, I noticed he had a lucid memory" -  he said - "although physically worn out.  Now he is definitely better."  Finally, he wanted to tell us something in confidence, almost a revelation: Benedict XVI is finishing writing the 'encyclical on faith that it will be signed by Pope Francis.  Later, he himself would prepare his first encyclical on the poor: Blessed are the poor! Poverty - he explained - understood not in ideological and political sense, but in the evangelical sense.

Interesting - the encyclical on faith will have a quality not often seen, though it has happened in the past that Popes have taken over the work almost completed by their predecessors.

Lombardi has denied the story so I expect there must be some truth in it.

Of course the good archbishop should have kept his mouth shut.  Do people not realise that when someone, especially the Pope, tells you something in confidence, it shouldn't end up on your blog?

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