(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has written the preface to the first volume in an anthology of the â€œselected works of Joseph Ratzinger / Benedict XVIâ€ being published by Cantagalli in Italy. Titled, Insegnare e imparare lâ€™amore di Dio, â€œTo Teach and To Learn the Love of Godâ€, to be published in six languages, including English.
In the preface, Pope Francis writes, â€œEvery time I have read the works of Joseph Ratzinger / Benedict XVI, it becomes increasingly clear that he has done and is doing â€˜theology on his kneesâ€™.â€ The Holy Father goes on to explain that his predecessor, â€œ[E]ven before being a great theologian and teacher of the faith,â€ is â€œa man who truly believes, who truly prays: you see he is a man who embodies holiness.â€
The book (Siena, Cantagalli, 2016, 304p., â‚¬ 19) brings together the texts of 43 homilies, starting with a 1954 selection delivered in Berchtesgaden and dedicated to Franz Niegel, from the day of then-Father Ratzingerâ€™s first Mass. The collection closes with the Letter to Priests by which he announced the Year for Priests. The final selection is preceded by an introduction written by the Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard MÃ¼ller.
The book is being released on the eve of the sixty-fifth anniversary of Pope-emeritus Benedict XVIâ€™s sixty-fifth jubilee of priestly ordination, which took place on June 29th, 1951, in the Cathedral of Freising.
The anthology is the first of a series of â€œselected writingâ€ which will cover topics ranging from science and faith, to Europe, creative minorities, politics and faith, universities, and the Eucharist.