(20/04/15) The Library Biblioteca Romana Joseph Ratzinger – Benedetto XVI, dedicated to the life and the thoughts of Joseph Ratzinger as a scholar and a Pope, will be established within the Library of the Teutonic College and the Roman Institute of the Society of Görres, in the Vatican City. It was announced yesterday by Msgr. Stefan Heid, director of the Roman Institute, during the presentation of the book Benedetto XVI servo di Dio e degli uomini. The book has been published by the Libreria Editrice Vaticana in Italian language and by the Schnell & Steiner publishing company in German language, in the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the papal election of Joseph Ratzinger (19th April 2005).

The event took place on 20th April, in the afternoon, in the church of the Campo Santo Teutonico, Vatican city. There were, among others, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, brother of the Pope emeritus, the cardinals Bertone, Farina, Koch and Müller, the archbishops Farhat, Gänswein, Marra and Pozzo, the ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Holy See Annette Schavan.

The Library dedicated to the Pope emeritus will be ready for next September and it will have about one thousand books in different languages; it will be open to people who are interested in the publications about Joseph Ratzinger and written by Joseph Ratzinger, in his life and his theology. Most of the books were donated by Benedict XVI, others by the Vatican Foundation that has the same name and has supported the initiative.

Msgr. Giuseppe Antonio Scotti, President of the Ratzinger Foundation, said that “Ratzinger was able to understand the complexity of our time and helped us to face this difficult situation”. Father Giuseppe Costa, director of the Libreria Editrice Vaticana wanted to thank the Pope emeritus for “the great present he left us through his publications and his theological research”. He also noted that “ Ratzinger gave great prestige to our publishing house LEV”.

Christian Schaller, vice director of the Institut Papst Benedikt XVI of Regensburg and awarded with the Ratzinger Prize in 2013, presented the book. He defined it as a “tour d’horizon of the eight years of the universal pastoral mission of Benedict XVI” and as “an invitation to be closer to the heritage of this important pontificate, to share his teachings and to reflect”.

Many authors contributed to this work: the president of the Pontifical Household father Stephan Otto Horn and the cardinals Cordes, Koch, Marx, Meisner, Müller . The book offers a portrait of Ratzinger’s life and works through words and images, various themes faced during the pontificate and a lot of pictures.

“People wanted to see Benedict XVI, but above all they needed to listen to him” said the archbishop Georg Gänswein – prefect of the Pontifical House and personal secretary of Pope Ratzinger – in the preface of the book. “When I try to identify myself with the Pope emeritus, I see that he has never concentrated the attention on his own life, but he has always been a messenger of faith. He helped people to be closer to Christ with a great care and sensitivity – Schaller affirmed – . It could happen only if we were ready to turn away from ourselves and to concentrate on our actions. Benedict XVI has been very successful, as we have already said”.

The themes of the book are the following: the trilogy about Jesus of Nazareth, the relationship between faith and reason, the friendship with John Paul II, the encyclicals, the Second Vatican Council, the apostolic journeys, the priesthood and the identity of the priest.

“In the history of the Church it is not so simple to find a Pope who wrote a book of that kind. His Opera Omnia has 16 books and it is about the sixty years of activity of this Pope, who committed himself not only to theology, but also to social themes and challenges that the whole world will have to face in the future – as Schaller concluded. We will have the portrait of a University professor, a bishop, a cardinal and a Pope, who is mainly a preacher. He considers theology as a premise of a message that is addressed to the mankind and that gives us enthusiasm and hope”.


Read the speech of Christian Schaller in Italian language

Read the speech of Christian Schaller in German language