Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pope's Annual Summer School Ends Monday

It would be fun to be in on this. Benedetto XVI Forum translates this from the Italian service of Vatican Radio There are pictures at the link

'Summer school' time in Castel Gandolfo
August 28, 2009

Today at Castel Gandolfo - the start of a three-day seminar at the Mariopoli Center of the Focolari Movement, of the Ratzinger Schuelerkreis, former doctoral students of Benedict XVI from his years as a university professor in Germany.

The seminar, always held behind closed doors, has for its theme this year "Mission in the ecumenical perspective'. The Holy Father is expected to spend all day Saturday with his former students and will preside at the concluding Mass on Monday morning.

Alessandro Gisotti reports: The annual seminar-reunion of Joseph Ratzinger's former students has taken place every year since 1977, when he was named by Paul Vi to become Archbishop of Munich and Freising, thus ending his 25-year academic career. After he became Pope in 2005, the seminars have taken place every summer in Castel Gandolfo.

In the past four years, the seminar topics have been: 'The relationship with Islam' (2005); 'Creation and evolution' (2006 and 2007); and 'The relationship between the Gospels adn the historical Jesus; and the salvific significance of the Passion of Christ' (2008).

Forty participants are expected this year, among them the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, who spoke to Marta Vertse, in charge of Hungarian programming at Vatican Radio.

SCHOENBORN: Our topic this week is mission - the Church's missionary task - and it was chosen by the Holy Father himself.

What is the atmosphere like during these meetings? Is there still the professor-student relationship?

Of course, that remains, and one can see that for the Holy Father, it is a time of detachment from his daily routine so that he can be with his former students as he used to be when he was their professor.

On the subject of mission, do you see the possibility of undertaking a Christian mission in cooperation with other Christian confessions in Europe?

Yes, because the Lord calls us to bear common witness. It is an urgent call by Jesus himself.

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