Vatican Reveals Full Text of Benedict XVI’s Letter to Msgr. Viganò. Updated.

Here are the latest updates excerpted from Ed Pentin’s post:

UPDATE March 17:

The Vatican released the following statement this afternoon (my translation), only sending it to accredited journalists and not publishing it in its daily bulletin:

“On the occasion of the presentation of the series The Theology of Pope Francis, published by the Vatican Publishing House on March 12, a letter was published by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Much controversy followed about an alleged censorial manipulation of photography distributed as a photographic handout.

What was read out from the letter, which was confidential, was considered appropriate and related to the sole initiative, and in particular to what the Pope Emeritus says about the philosophical and theological formation of the present Pontiff and the inner union between the two pontificates, leaving out some notes regarding contributors to the series.

The choice was motivated by confidentiality and not by any intention to censor. In order to dispel any doubts, it was therefore decided to make the letter public in its entirety [see the full contents of the letter, released March 17, here].”

Earlier today Vaticanista Sandro Magister revealed there was more to the letter which was neither read out, nor published in the Vatican’s press release.

The second missing paragraph which comes at the end of the letter reads (my translation):

“Only as an aside, I would like to note my surprise at the fact that among the authors is also Professor Hünermann, who during my pontificate had distinguished himself by leading anti-papal initiatives. He played a major part in the release of the “Kölner Erklärung”, which, in relation to the encyclical “Veritatis splendour”, virulently attacked the magisterial authority of the Pope, especially on questions of moral theology. Also the “Europaische Theologengesellschaft”, which he founded, was initially conceived by him as an organization in opposition to the papal magisterium. Later, the ecclesial sentiment of many theologians prevented this orientation, allowing that organization to become a normal instrument of encounter among theologians.”

According to Magister, Hünermann was an “implacable critic both of John Paul II and of Joseph Ratzinger himself as theologian and as pope.” A professor at the university of Tubingen, Magister said “he is the author of, among other things, a commentary on Vatican Council II that is the polar opposite of the Ratzingerian interpretation.”

UPDATE March 17:

The letter in full:

Benedictus XVI

Pope Emeritus

Most Reverend Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò

Prefect of the Secretariat for Communications

Vatican City

February 7, 2018

 

Most Reverend Monsignor,

Thank you for your kind letter of 12 January and the attached gift of the eleven small volumes edited by Roberto Repole.

I applaud this initiative that wants to oppose and react to the foolish prejudice in which Pope Francis is just a practical man without particular theological or philosophical formation, while I have been only a theorist of theology with little understanding of the concrete life of a Christian today.

The small volumes show, rightly, that Pope Francis is a man of profound philosophical and theological formation, and they therefore help to see the inner continuity between the two pontificates, despite all the differences of style and temperament.

However, I don’t feel like writing a short and dense theological passage on them because throughout my life it has always been clear that I would write and express myself only on books I had read really well. Unfortunately, if only for physical reasons, I am unable to read the eleven volumes in the near future, especially as other commitments await me that I have already made.

Only as an aside, I would like to note my surprise at the fact that among the authors is also Professor Hünermann, who during my pontificate had distinguished himself by leading anti-papal initiatives. He played a major part in the release of the “Kölner Erklärung”, which, in relation to the encyclical “Veritatis splendour”, virulently attacked the magisterial authority of the Pope, especially on questions of moral theology. Also the “Europaische Theologengesellschaft”, which he founded, was initially conceived by him as an organization in opposition to the papal magisterium. Later, the ecclesial sentiment of many theologians prevented this orientation, allowing that organization to become a normal instrument of encounter among theologians.

I am sure you will understand my refusal and I offer you cordial greetings.

Yours,

Benedict XVI

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1 Response to Vatican Reveals Full Text of Benedict XVI’s Letter to Msgr. Viganò. Updated.

  1. Mary Anne says:

    If Benedict wrote that I’d have to say his mind is pretty sharp … IF Benedict really wrote it. We are being mentally attacked every day by new whirlwinds of words. It’s becoming a ‘drain’ The sheep are becoming hungry for true doctrine to feed on.

    Like

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