DEFENDING POPE BENEDICT’S TEACHING
Benedict XVI does not want to undo the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, but he is working to ensure that “the foundation and heart of the Christian faith shines again,” said Swiss Cardinal KURT KOCH in a book released in time for the seventh anniversary of the Pope’s election.
Bishops, theologians and concerned Catholics have an obligation to help the faithful understand the theology and teaching of the Pope, Cardinal Koch wrote in the book presented in Rome on April 16, Pope Benedict’s 85th birthday and just three days before the anniversary of his election.
“The theological and pastoral thought of Pope Benedict XVI is continually exposed to serious misunderstandings,” the cardinal wrote in the preface to the Italian edition of The Mystery of the Mustard Seed: Foundations of the Thought of Benedict XVI.
Cardinal Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said the two most common misunderstandings are that the Pope is concerned only about a small, active portion of the Catholic faithful, and that he wants to take the Church back to a time before Vatican II.
VATICAN LIBRARY, OXFORD’S BODLEIAN LAUNCH MAJOR DIGITIZATION PROJECT
In collaboration with the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford, England, and thanks to a grant of more than $3 million, a million pages of material from the Vatican Library will be digitized over the next five years.
“Digitizing means better conservation of cultural goods, less arduous consultation, guaranteeing a high-quality reproduction before the original can deteriorate, and making them immediately accessible online to many more people,” said Msgr. CESARE PASINI, prefect of the Vatican Library.
The project, funded with a grant from the London-based Polonsky Foundation, is expected to digitally reproduce a total of 1.5 million pages of manuscripts and ancient books from the Vatican Library and the Bodleian Libraries.
The Bodleian-Vatican Library digitized collections will be in three subject areas: Greek manuscripts, incunabula and Hebrew manuscripts.
Msgr. Pasini said the project will allow the Vatican Library to expand the service it has rendered for almost six centuries by making cultural treasures available to a much wider group of readers and researchers.
The Vatican Library’s Greek manuscripts include works by Homer, Sophocles, Plato and Hippocrates, manuscripts of the New Testament and of the early Church Fathers.
The Hebrew manuscripts include the Sifra, a legal commentary on Scripture thought to be the oldest existing Hebrew codex; it was written at the end of the 9th or in the first half of the 10th century. Other Hebrew texts in the Vatican collection are biblical commentaries, works on Jewish mysticism and writings on liturgy, philosophy, medicine and astronomy.
RECTOR’S DINNER 2012: WORDS OF THANKS
The rector of the Pontifical North American College, Msgr. James Checchio, is delighted with the results of his April “Rector’s Dinner” to raise funds for the College, saying it was the “most successful in the history of the College.”
On April 19, the College celebrated its largest Rector’s Dinner to date when 400 guests gathered at the Janiculum Hill seminary to honor His Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl and Mr. and Mrs. John and JoEllen Stollenwerk with the 2012 Rector’s Award.
In addition to the many cardinals, archbishops, bishops, and curial officials in attendance, the College was honored to have the distinguished presence of several ambassadors and international diplomatic representatives from around the world, members of the Papal Foundation and numerous friends, benefactors and alumni of the College.
During the evening, guests enjoyed traditional Italian fare and lively entertainment provided by the seminarians, which included classics from the American songbook accompanied by the talents of some seminarians that included a saxophone solo and tap-dancing. After accepting the Rector’s Award, the recipients imparted words of wisdom and inspiration.
His Eminence, Donald Cardinal Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, expressed his gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Stollenwerk, Msgr. James Checchio, and the North American College. He reflected on his experiences studying at the College as a seminarian and the impact that his brother seminarians had on him. He expressed joy and pride in the Church and particularly in the work of the College in shaping the Church’s future.
Mr. and Mrs. John and JoEllen Stollenwerk received the rector’s award for their enthusiastic support of the College, priestly vocations, and Catholic education. Mr. John Stollenwerk expressed his gratitude for the award and went on to proclaim good news about “the world’s greatest system of schools,” American Catholic schools. He emphasized the important role of Catholic schools in parishes and the need for priests to seek after and support them.
Checchio will host another Restor’s Dinner on April 11, 2013. That will be the 21st annual Rector’s Dinner.