VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 19, 2010 (Zenit.org).- A Vatican spokesman is likening Benedict XVI to the newly beatified Cardinal John Henry Newman, as a seeker of the truth with a similar experience of faith.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, made these remarks to Vatican Radio.
The priest pointed to the newly beatified Englishman’s example of living “the beauty and joy of faith in Christ as the foundation of a positive service to the society in which one lives, as the foundation of an effective witness of great charity for the community in which one lives.”
This example synthesizes many of the themes that came to the fore during the Pope’s visit, the spokesman observed.
Furthermore, he said, for Blessed John Henry Newman the Christian faith is “a path of seeking the truth ever more deeply that ends more and more fully in the encounter with Christ and therefore in sanctity.”
“His is a personality that has a profound resonance with that of the Holy Father in the unity of experience of culture and experience of faith, in the deep spirituality, in the sense of seeking the truth,” Father Lombardi affirmed.
“So,” he added, “we also understand why the Pope wished to do this beatification himself. He felt a profound commonality of sensitivity, of the shape of the experience of faith.”
In reviewing some of the more touching moments of the Papal visit, the spokesman recalled Saturday’s meeting with the abuse victims, “which showed the way that the Holy Father handles this question that is very delicate for the Church today.”
The Pope wanted to approach this question in three different ways, Father Lombardi explained: “with the words of the homily, with the meeting with the victims and with the people involved in protecting, in caring for young people and children.”
“This last aspect,” he observed, “is a little new with respect to other trips and shows the completeness of the approaches with which the Church must face this situation, also looking ahead and putting all the premises in place so that its witness be credible and there be the guarantee of being able to avoid that these errors and crimes ever occur again.”