Vatican Watch

Our forte. Get the scoop on what’s current inside the Vatican.

A day-by-day chronicle of Vatican events: February-March-April 2023

February Thursday 23 Holy See and the Sultanate of Oman establish diplomatic ties The Holy See and Oman have established full diplomatic relations, leaving only six countries worldwide without any diplomatic connection to the Vatican. The announcement on February 23 did not come as a surprise as, in November during Pope Francis’ trip to Bahrain, there [...]

“This was a time of interior exultation” Excerpts from the Ratzinger brothers’ memoirs

Early Teenage Years In his 1998 book Milestones: Memoirs 19271977, Joseph Ratzinger recounts the circumstances surrounding his entry into the minor seminary at age 12: For us, the seizure of power in Austria by the brown rulers [the Nazi party, in 1938] had a positive aspect. The borders of this neighboring country had been closed by [...]

“We learned what it means to have a firm grasp of faith”

Against the dramatic backdrop of Hitler's Germany, a boy's faith—and vocation—mature Located in Bavaria, the most densely Catholic region of Germany, the Ratzinger family’s home life was imbued with the Catholic faith. Hitler had come to power when young Joseph was only five, but the family’s faith and spiritual practices fortified them through the difficulties that [...]

Benedict XVI: The Scholar Pope

By Tracey Rowland When in 1946 Joseph Ratzinger entered the seminary for the Archdiocese of Munich-Freising along with his older brother Georg, fellow students distinguished the pair by the names “Organ-Ratz” and “Bücher-Ratz” (the organ-playing Ratzinger and the bookish Ratzinger). Joseph was the scholar, Georg the musician. Joseph completed both his doctorate and Habilitationsschrift dissertations under [...]

Joseph Ratzinger on the “Catholic Idea of Sola Scriptura”

From his "Commentary on Dei Verbum, Articles 8-10," 1967, written while holding the Chair of Dogmatic Theology at the University of Tübingen, Germany Article 9 takes us to the focal point of the controversy, the question of a mutual relation of Scripture and tradition. The text shows clear signs of the firm position taken during the [...]

At its heart: An encounter with the man Jesus

Ratzinger's 1968 book Introduction to Christianity Translated into twenty languages, Introduction to Christianity originated as lectures delivered by Fr. Joseph Ratzinger at the University of Tübingen in 1967. A few features of Introduction to Christianity are worth highlighting since they remain relevant even today. First, the clearsightedness with which Ratzinger saw, within a few years of [...]

“Vatican II proved not only meaningful, but necessary”

In 2022, the frail but still intellectually vigorous 95-year-old pontiff sent a personal letter, released by its recipient, to Franciscan University of Steubenville president Fr. Dave Pivonka on the occasion of an academic symposium being held there. In the letter, he reveals some of his thoughts about the “necessity” of Vatican Council II. October 7, 2022 [...]

Load More Posts