(12/06/15) “The Library ‘Biblioteca Romana Joseph Ratzinger – Benedetto XVI’ at the Teutonic College is a valuable initiative”, said cardinal Reinhard Marx during the Congress of the Foundation Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice, that was held last month in the Vatican City. With his proverbial frankness, the cardinal affirmed: “In the name of the German Church and as a successor of Ratzinger in the management of the dioceses of Munich, I will do my best to give economic and intellectual contribution”.
As our readers already know, the Library is dedicated to the life and thoughts of Joseph Ratzinger as a scholar and a Pope and it is supported by our Foundation. It will be inside the Library of the Teutonic College and the Roman Institute of Görres-Gesellschaft, in the Vatican City.
“We are really thankful to the Roman Institute for the availability”.
What about the new steps in the next months? In order to know more about it, we asked some question to the head of the Roman Institute, Msgr. Stefan Heid, who promoted the initiative. It has been appreciated by the Pope emeritus, supported by the Vatican Foundation, esteemed by the German Church and built thanks to the rector of the Teutonic College, Msgr. Hans Peter Fischer.
Msgr. Heid, how many books are there in the Library? Are you working on the cataloguing?
At the beginning, the Library dedicated to the Pope emeritus will have got about one thousand books in different languages. Il will be an open place to welcome people who are interested in publications by Ratzinger and about his life, with the aim to understand his theology.
A lot of books have been donated by Benedict XVI, others by the Vatican Foundation which has got his name and has supported the initiative. About 600 books have already been classified and in autumn we will finish our work.
For this reason I kindly invite all the authors who wrote books about Joseph Ratzinger to give us their publications.
When is the Library ready to start?
The Library is already open, but the special section dedicated to Benedict XVI will be ready in September. The solemn opening celebration will be held on 18th November and cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, will talk about the following topic: “From the Bible to the Library – Benedict XVI and the Culture of the Word of God”.
Which is the timetable of the Library?
The Library is open and people can read books from Monday to Thursday, from 3.30 to 7.30 p.m. Two ID pictures are needed to register. I would like to underline that we have got a lot of publications in different languages. If our customers ask for other books, we will order them. We are also working to offer an on line access to the catalogue.
Will it be possible to borrow books?
It is not allowed, but there are so many copies of the same books that we could open another library and lend those books. We also have a scanner, a copy machine and wireless connection.
Are you planning new initiatives?
Now we are working on the opening of the Library. We hope to improve our services.