February 9, 2023

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Benedict XVI, Spiritual Testament: “Speak with knowledge without confusion”

It is necessary to “remain firm in the faith” and not allow yourself to be “confused”: he writes it Benedict XVI In his spiritual testament, published by the Vatican Press House in the day he disappearedre-proposes his belief about the “reasonableness of faith”, recognizing, on the one hand, that “in dialogue with the natural sciences faith has also learned to better understand the limits of the range of its assertions” but also asserts that the “crumbling thesis” in theological inquiry “which seemed immutable, proves They are just hypotheses: the liberal generation (HarnackAnd the Julisher etc.), existential generation (Bultmann etc.), the Marxist generation.

“Moments of confusion and dark features”

Here is the full text of the Spiritual Testament, dated August 29, 2006. “If at this late hour in my life I look back over the decades I have covered, the first thing I see is the number of reasons to be thankful. I thank God Himself above all, the Dispenser of every good gift, Who gave me life and guided me through various moments of confusion;and always drew me back every time I began to slip and always gave me the light of his countenance again.In turning back I see and realize that even the dark features and weariness of this journey were my salvation and that in it he guided me well “.

“I thank my parents, who gave me life in hard time and who, at the cost of great sacrifice, have prepared for me with their love a wonderful home, like a clear light, illuminating all my days until today. My father is clear faith taught us children to believe, and as a sign he has always endured amid all my accomplishments Scientific; my mother’s deep devotion and her great benevolence represent a legacy for which I will never be thankful. A tender concern; My brother, with the frankness of his judgments, his strong resolve and the serenity of his heart, has always prepared the way for me; and without it I would not have found the right path that precedes and accompanies me.”

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Relationship with Bavaria, Italy’s second home

“I sincerely thank God for the many friends, men and women, who he has always placed by my side; for the collaborators at all stages of my journey; for the teachers and pupils he has given me. For your goodness. And I want to thank God for my beautiful homeland in the foothills of Bavaria, where I have always seen the splendor of the Creator himself shine forth I thank my countrymen because in them I have always been able to experience once more the beauty of faith.I pray that our land will remain a land of faith and I beg you, dear compatriots: do not let yourselves be distracted from faith.Finally I thank God for all the beauty that I was able to experience in all The stages of my journey, especially in Rome and Italy, which became my second home.

Criticism of liberal, existential, and Marxist theology

“To all those whom I have wronged in any way, I earnestly ask for forgiveness. What I said formerly to my compatriots, I now say to all those in the Church who have been entrusted to my service: Remain firm in the faith! Do so. It often appears that science – the natural sciences on the one hand and research the historical (and in particular the interpretation of the Bible) on the other hand – are able to present indisputable results contrary to the Catholic faith. Natural sciences since ancient times and have been able to ascertain how, on the contrary, the obvious certainties against faith have disappeared, proving that they Not a science, but only philosophical explanations apparently because of science; just as, moreover, in dialogue with the natural sciences even faith has learned to understand better the limits of the range of its assertions, and therefore of its specificity.

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“I accompanied the path of theology for sixty years, especially in biblical sciences, and with the succession of different generations I saw theses that seemed to collapse unshakably, and proved that they were just hypotheses: the liberal generation (Harnack, Gulicher, etc.), the existential generation (Bultmann, etc.), The Marxist generation. I have seen and continue to see how reasonableness of faith emerges and reappears from a tangle of hypotheses. Jesus Christ is truly the Way, the Truth and the Life – and the Church, in all its imperfections, is truly His Body. Finally, I humbly ask: Pray for me, that the Lord may welcome me, In spite of all my sins and imperfections, in eternal homes. entrusted to me,” the Pope Emeritus concludes, “day by day my heartfelt prayer goes.”