Benedict XVI pays strong homage to Paul VI

Source: FSSPX News

 On March 3, at the Vatican, the pope received the members of the Paul VI Institute of Brescia (Italy). On this occasion the judgment he passed on the pontificate of Paul VI shed light on the intellectual and spiritual bond which unites him to the pope of the Second Vatican Council.

“With the passing of the years, the importance of his pontificate for the Church and the world becomes ever clearer, as does the value of his exalted Magisterium, which inspired his successors and to which I too continue to refer,” emphasized Benedict XVI. Paul VI “received the call of divine providence to guide the ship of Peter through a historical period marked by no small number of challenges and problems,” he said, recalling “the missionary zeal which inspired him and encouraged him to undertake important apostolic trips, even to distant nations, and to make prophetic gestures of great ecclesial, missionary and ecumenical value.”

Benedict XVI also recalled that the name of this Sovereign Pontiff “remains first of all linked with the Second Vatican Council” (1962-1965) because he “brought it to its conclusion with an expert hand, both delicate and firm.” Paul VI “did not let himself be conditioned by misunderstandings and criticisms, although he sometimes had to endure suffering and occasionally violent attacks, yet he always remained a firm and prudent helmsman of the ship of Peter,” explained Benedict XVI.

Lastly, the pope encouraged the thirty or so members of the Paul VI Institute to study the person of the Italian pope with “love”, “scientific rigor”, and “the conviction that his spiritual heritage continues to enrich the Church and can feed the consciences of today’s men.”

The Paul VI Institute was founded by the Work for Christian Education of Brescia (birthplace of Paul VI) to provide researchers with an adequate work tool. Since 1977, the Institute has been offering its archives on Paul VI for consultation. Its library includes 10,000 books from Paul VI’s personal library, and the very many studies published about him over the past years. The Institute also organizes international symposiums.