· ‘Opera Omnia’ by Joseph Ratzinger in Italian ·
The Libreria Editrice Vaticana [Vatican Publishing House] has already had the privilege of enriching its catalogue with dozens of Documents from the teaching and Magisterium of Benedict XVI. His three Encyclicals, Deus Caritas Est, Spe Salvi and Caritas in Veritate stand out among them for their theological importance, as well as such valuable writings as the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist, Sacramentum Caritatis, and the Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum which have revealed and reaffirmed his fondness for the subject of the Sacred Liturgy, the specific theme of this 11th volume of the Opera Omnia [Complete Works]. The Holy Father himself has explained that his fondness for the Liturgy is closely linked to the way in which he sees the “primacy of God” ( Primat Gottes ).
The most significant expression of this primacy is the tribute of worship that the Church has always paid to God since the beginning of her history in the liturgical celebration of the sacred rites and first and foremost through the Eucharistic Sacrifice of Holy Mass, the driving force of all Christian life.
These documents and writings fit wonderfully into the extraordinary flow of profound philosophical and theological thought that Joseph Ratzinger has had the opportunity to express with amazing originality and consistent continuity since the first years of his highly qualified “academic activity” and then in a constructive “ministry of the word”, which he has exercised in his pastoral activity as a priest and Bishop at the service of the People of God.
For this reason the Vatican Publishing House cannot but feel honoured. It is delighted to publish the 16 volumes, in collaboration with Herder International Book Center, that contain Joseph Ratzinger's comprehensive writings in which he has presented to the contemporary humanity the riches of his thought during his tireless teaching activity and the exercise of his priestly ministry.
His gift for communicating with his readers – even on the most demanding philosophical and theological topics – is surprising. Furthermore, attention should be drawn to the lexicographical “creativity”, which corresponds to a conceptual “creativity”, that he skilfully applies not only to the believer's “faith” in order to strengthen and invigorate it but also to the “reason” that is a prerogative of every human being. Hence the importance of the faithful and perfect translation of the original German text that the publisher has taken care to guarantee.
It is therefore to be hoped that the remaining volumes of this Opera Omnia will soon be published and that the seed which the illuminated Theologian/Pastor of souls has desired and known how to scatter in the “field” of the People of God will germinate in the minds and hearts of many readers.
St. Peter’s Square
Nov. 18, 2019
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