Fr. Peter Vasko, ofm, President of the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land, only had 6 minutes with him, but Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI made it very clear that he was aware of what the FFHL was accomplishing in the Holy Land for the Christians who are so often discriminated against, and indirectly forced to emigrate.
“Education, Fr. Peter,” he said. “Education is the key to keeping Christians in the Holy Land.”
And so Fr. Peter zeroed in on education as primary among the 14 programs and projects run by the FFHL.
Now, as preparations are being made in Rome for the beatification of another former pope, Paul VI, the Vatican spokesman has announced that Benedict XVI may very well attend the beatification.
Here is more from our partner, CNA/EWTN.
|Benedict XVI/Cardinal Ratzinger (left) with Paul VI (right)|
(CNA/EWTN News).- Retired pontiff Benedict XVI may take part to Paul VI’s beatification Mass Oct. 19, revealed Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office.
Asked if the former Pope was expected to give his personal contribution to the two-week synod of bishops, Fr. Lombardi said during a press conference that “it is not expected that the Pope emeritus will take part in the synod, which is so committing and long.”
“Since his resignation, the Pope emeritus has been living a private life in prayer,” Fr. Lombardi, adding that “everybody hopes to see him for Paul VI’s beatification.”
The beatification Mass will take place Oct. 19, at the end of the extraordinary synod on the family – the synod of bishops being an institution the late Pope wanted and promoted.
Pope Francis said in an interview with Italian outlet “Corriere della Sera” that Paul VI is one of his models, and he praised his predecessor for the promulgation of the encyclical “Humanae Vitae,” issued notwithstanding the opposing views about its content held by a majority of public opinion.
The connection between Paul VI and Benedict XVI, however, is stronger. Paul VI appointed Joseph Ratzinger as archbishop of Munich in 1977, and shortly after created him a cardinal.
The consistory took place June 27, 1977, and it was the very last of Pope Montini.
Paul VI and Joseph Ratzinger’s relationship developed after the Second Vatican Council, according to an account of Cardinal Giovani Battista Re, who had served to the Vatican Secretariat of State during Paul VI’s pontificate and worked with John Paul II and Benedict XVI as well.