Damian Thompson says Francis Darkening Legacy of Benedict XVI

Vatican 12/1, Twitter: “Today at THE RATZINGER PRIZE @Pontifex stressed how Benedict XVI helped us to read the CVII documents, proposing a hermeneutics of reform and continuity & has given us the necessary guidelines to reformulate the central question of the nature and mission of the Church in our time”. (Emphasis added here. SH).

Thompson retorts,

“Outrageous. BXVI outlined a hermeneutic of continuity that Francis is trying to destroy by trashing his predecessor’s crucial teaching on the place of the old liturgy in the post-V2 Church. He has darkened Benedict’s last days by humiliating him.’ — Twitter, 12/2/22.

Damian Thompson  is an associate editor of The Spectator. He was also editor-in-chief of The Catholic Herald and for The Daily Telegraph where he was religious affairs correspondent and a columnist .

Earlier this year The National Catholic Register’s Edward Pentin reported similarly:

See “Archbishop Ganswein: Progressivist Forces Want to Destroy Benedict XVI’s Life and Work

Not a few important Vatican observers, editors and journalists have said or suggested that Progressives opposed to Benedict — like the St. Gallen club — are strategically employing duplicity in order to dismiss a large part of Benedict’s theological legacy.

CNA 12/1/22: Pope Francis praises ‘fruitful’ theology of Benedict XVI

By AC Wimmer
CNA Newsroom, Dec 1, 2022 / 05:06 am

Pope Francis on Thursday praised the role of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and his theology for the Church.

Speaking at the 2022 Ratzinger Prize award ceremony at the Vatican, Pope Francis said: “We all feel his spiritual presence and his accompaniment in prayer for the whole Church.”

”But this occasion is important to reaffirm that the contribution of his theological work and, more generally, of his thought continues to be fruitful and effective.”

The Ratzinger Prize was launched in 2011 to recognize scholars whose work demonstrates a meaningful contribution to theology in the spirit of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Bavarian theologian who became Pope Benedict XVI.

This year, the prestigious award was given to Jesuit Father Michel Fédou and Professor Joseph H.H. Weiler.

Father Michel Fédou, SJ, (left) and Professor Joseph H.H. Weiler, recipients of the Ratzinger Prize 2022 with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Dec. 1, 2022. Vatican Media

Pope Francis said: “As we know, Benedict XVI personally participated in [Vatican II] as an expert and played an important role in the genesis of some documents; and then he was called to lead the ecclesial community in its implementation, both alongside St. John Paul II and as pastor of the universal Church.”

Benedict “helped us to read the conciliar documents in depth, proposing a ‘hermeneutic of reform and continuity,’‘’ he said.

His predecessor from Bavaria, the pontiff added, had provided “a solid theological basis for the Church’s journey: a ‘living’ Church, which he taught us to see and live as communion, and which is on the move in ’synod’ — guided by the Spirit of the Lord, always open to the mission of proclaiming the Gospel and serving the world in which it lives.”

The Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Foundation announced Oct. 7 that Fédou and Weiler would receive the prize from Pope Francis.

Fédou has been teaching dogmatic theology and patristics at Centre Sèvres, a Jesuit institution in Paris, since 1987. He is a member of several theological organizations and commissions regarding ecumenical dialogue with Lutherans and Orthodox Christians, according to a Vatican communiqué.

The 69-year-old native of Lyon, France, is the author of several works, mainly about patristics and Christology.

In him, Pope Francis said, ”we recognize and pay tribute to a valiant heir and continuer of the great tradition of French theology, which has given the Church masters of the stature of Father Henri De Lubac and solid and courageous cultural enterprises such as the Sources Chrétiennes, whose publication began 80 years ago.”

Famous for his role in defense of the display of crucifixes in public schools before the European Court of Human Rights, Weiler is a legal scholar at many universities in the U.S. and the U.K., including at Harvard and New York University, as well as in other places.

The 71-year-old native of Johannesburg, South Africa, was the president of the European University Institute of Florence and is the author of many works about constitutional and international law as well as human rights.

In his book “A Christian Europe: An Exploratory Essay,” the scholar coined the term Christophobia, a phenomenon papal biographer George Weigel has written about extensively.

Last year’s winners of the Ratzinger Prize were Hanna-Barbara Gerl-Falkovitz and Ludger Schwienhorst-Schönberger.

Candidates for the prize are chosen by the scientific committee of the Ratzinger Foundation and presented to the pope, who approves the winners.

The Ratzinger Prize has been awarded yearly since 2011 to two or three scholars. The scientific committee members are appointed by the pope.

Members until recently have been Cardinals Angelo Amato, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints; Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture; and Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany. President of Pope Benedict XVI Institute Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella stood in for Cardinal Amato.

Catholic News Agency

German church, Francis and the “Synodal Way” Dec.12, 2022