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Pope and Past Pupils Interpret Vatican II
(31 Aug 10 – RV) On Monday Pope Benedict received in audience Archbishop Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, who participated the traditional summer meeting of the Pope’s former students, the so-called Ratzinger Schülerkreis. The meeting ended Sunday with a Mass presided by the Pope at Castel Gandolfo Mariapolis Center: the theme of the seminar, which began last Friday, was that of the interpretation of Vatican II. The homily was delivered by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna, also a former student of Professor. Ratzinger.
At the end of the Mass, the Pope greeted the participants at the seminar, referring to the Sunday Gospel, with Jesus' exhortation to humility and love:
"Liebe Freunde, am Ende des heutigen Evangeliums ...
Dear friends, in today's Gospel, the Lord points out that in fact we continue to live like pagans inviting only those who can reciprocate the invitation, we give only to those who can return the favour in kind. But God’s style is different: we experience this in the Holy Eucharist. He invites us to his table, we who before him are lame, blind and deaf, he invites us, we have nothing to give Him”.
Especially during the Mass - continued the Pope - we are called to allow ourselves to be touched with gratitude for the fact that although we have nothing to give to God and, indeed, we are full of sins, He invites us to his table and wants to be at the table with us:
"Aber wir wollen doch auch uns davon lassen berühren ...
But we also want to learn to feel guilty because we emerge so little from the pagan style, because we live so little the novelty, the style of God. And this is why we begin the Holy Mass asking for forgiveness, a forgiveness that changes us, that makes us more like God, in His image and likeness".
In his homily, Cardinal Schönborn returned to the theme of humility, remembering that Jesus entrusted the Kingdom of the Father to the Apostles, but so that this great vocation does not make them arrogant he has placed them, especially the first of the Apostles, in the last place. He then went on to explain what is the attitude of Christians before humiliation and insults: though despised, they give blessings...
Die Demut wendet diese Beschimpfungen in Segen. ...
Humility transforms insults into grace! Thank you, Holy Father, because you embody for us the attitude of Christ who is meek and humble of heart. Is this not a wonderful thing in the Christian faith and Christian experience? Joy over the fact that the parameters of Heaven are so different from ours”.
Forty priests, professors, religious and laity, all former students of Pope Benedict, participated in the summer school which was first held for former students when Joseph Ratzinger became Archbishop of Munich and Freising in 1977. This year's meeting, ran from Aug. 27-30.
Pope Benedict chose the theme of the four-day seminar as well as the main speaker, Archbishop Kurt Koch, who was recently appointed to replace Cardinal Walter Kasper as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
Archbishop Koch's intervention examined "The Second Vatican Council between tradition and innovation" and "Sacrosanctum concilium and the post-Conciliar reform of the liturgy."