The book “Cooperatores Veritatis” was presented in Rome — on the occasion of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s 90th birthday, which he will celebrate on April 16 –, at the Augustinianum Patristic Institute, on Thursday afternoon, April 6. Brought to life by Father Federico Lombardi, SJ and Pierluca Azzaro, the volume brings together 13 essays of scholars who since 2011 have ben awarded the Ratzinger Prize.
Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and member of the Foundation’s Scientific Committee, talked about the theme “A Symphony of Love and Truth in Freedom. Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI Grateful Witness of Paschal Faith,” reflecting in fact on the concepts of love, truth and freedom in the thought of the Pope Emeritus.
“Only if truth and love are in agreement can man be happy: only truth makes us free.” With these clear words, said Cardinal Koch, Joseph Ratzinger has condensed in a formula the nucleus of his theological thought.” The opposite of what is held today “when love and truth are considered as conflicting, connecting freedom only to love and not to truth.”
Among the different subjects addressed by the Cardinal were Pope Ratzinger’s love “for the liturgy celebrated in its beauty,” because he has “always felt God’s primacy in the liturgy.” He also pointed out Ratzinger’s work to bring to memory the thought of Vatican Council II, giving an authentic interpretation for its reception in the life of the Church,” carrying out “a hermeneutics of the reform,” to renew the Church from her sources, namely, from her origins. The Council, he added, had the task to “proclaim the truth and the beauty of the faith,” and it was necessary to do so “without sacrificing it to the present.”
He also recalled Benedict XVI’s ecumenical dimension, evidenced in 2011 in Germany with his visit to the Agustinian monastery of Erfur, in which he pointed out “Luther’s Christo-centrism, who did not believe in any God but in Jesus – a coherent ecumenical magisterium,” he noted.
The Cardinal also recalled “the happy coincidence of the 90th birthday with the celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection, the feast of all Christian feasts, which coincides “with April 16, 1927, Holy Saturday, the morning in which Joseph Ratzinger was immediately baptized with the just blessed paschal water.”