By Jesús Colina
VATICAN CITY, DEC. 9, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Popes are generally not quick to recommend books — not counting the Bible and Christian classics. But today Benedict XVI made an exception, recommending “A Civilization of Love,” a book by the leader of the Knights of Columbus.
A telegram sent in the Pontiff’s name by his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, expressed the Holy Father’s hope that Carl Anderson’s book “will awaken renewed fidelity to Christ and a generous evangelical witness.”
The papal telegram was sent to Vatican Radio, where the Italian translation of the book — from the Vatican Publishing House — was launched today.
The president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko classified the work as a “handbook for Catholic laity who make an effort to build a civilization of love.”
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, said this volume, with “typical clarity, in addition to the competence of Americans,” is very useful “for the formation of the laity.” He particularly lauded the reflection questions found at the end of every chapter.
The volume, written by the head of the most numerous Catholic movement in the Church (worldwide, the Knights of Columbus have 1.7 million members), has been a bestseller in the United States. It synthesizes the teaching on the civilization of love forged by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and then applies it to the life of the laity, in the family, in the globalized world, in market ethics and in the defense of life.
Salesian Father Giuseppe Costa, director of the Vatican Publishing House, said he believes this book will enable the European reader and, in particular, the Italian, to learn of the wealth of American Catholicism, very little known in the Old World. “It gives us a plan of spiritual things to practice for the building of our interior and social I,” he reflected.
Anderson told ZENIT that in presenting the book on the civilization of love in the Old World, he seeks to put forth the central proposal of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, something that “today is essential for the discussion on culture and Christianity in Europe.”
Also speaking at the presentation of the book were Franco Miano, president of Italian Catholic Action, and John Thavis, head of the Roman office of Catholic News Service.
The importance of the event was stressed by the notable figures in attendance, including Cardinal John Foley, grand knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher, and Cardinal Renato Martino, retired president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, as well as by ambassadors and diplomats of several countries, some of them of Muslim majority.
— — —
On the Net:
“A Civilization of Love”: http://www.acivilizationoflove.com/buybook.html