Benedict XVI left a spiritual testament in which he asks “forgiveness from the heart” to those who may have harmed in his life and called on the Church to “stand firm” in the faith in the face of philosophical and scientific proposals that seek to counter it.
“To all those whom I have harmed in any way, I apologize from the bottom of my heart”, read in the document, entitled “My spiritual testament” and published by the Holy See, in German and Italian.
The emeritus pope begins this posthumous document thanking God for guiding him in “several moments of confusion.”
“First of all I thank God himself, dispenser of every good gift, who has given me life and guided me through various moments of confusion, picking me up every time I began to slip, always giving me again the light of his face,” he wrote.
He also thanked his parents for giving him life. “in a difficult time”, in interwar Germany in 1927, when the country was heading towards Nazism, and his brothers, Maria and Georg.
He also expressed his gratitude to “the many friends, men and women” who accompanied him throughout his life and to the teachers and students he had, as well as to his country, Germany, and his native Bavaria, where, he said, he always saw “the splendor of the Creator appear.”
In fact, he addresses the German people directly: “I pray that our land continues to be of faith and I ask you, Dear compatriots: do not let yourselves be diverted from the faith”.
“What I have said to my compatriots, I now say to all those in the Church who have been entrusted to my service: stand firm in the faith! Don’t be confused!” encourage.
In this sense, Benedict XVI write a plea in defense of the faith against the philosophical and supposedly scientific interpretations that try to appease it or minimize its importance.
“It often seems that science – natural science on the one hand and historical research (particularly the exegesis of the Holy Scriptures) on the other – They are capable of offering unmistakable results in the face of the Catholic faith.” begin.
But he adds: “I have seen the transformations of the natural sciences from distant times and I have been able to verify how, on the contrary, apparent certainties against faith have vanished, proving to be, not science, but philosophical interpretations only apparently linked to science.”
Faith, Ratzinger points out, has dialogued with natural science and he has also “learned” from her to understand “better the limit of the dimension of his affirmations”.
In his sixty years as a theologian, Ratzinger claims “to have seen theses that seemed irreducible collapse, showing that they were only hypotheses.”
Among these he cites the liberal generation, with references such as the German Protestants Adolf von Harnack and Adolf Jülicher; the existentialist, like Rudolf Bultmann; or the Marxist generation.
“I have seen and I see how the reason for faith has emerged from the hubbub of hypotheses and emerges again. Jesus Christ is truly the way, the truth and the life, and the Churchwith all its inadequacies, is truly his body”, he defends.
Finally, Benedict XVI, retired in a Vatican monastery until his death since his historic resignation in 2013, He “humbly” asks to pray for him.
“So that the Lord, despite all my sins and insufficiencies, welcomes me into the eternal home. To all those who have been entrusted to me, day by day, my prayer goes from the bottom of my heart.” ends.
The last words that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI uttered before he died were “Jesus, I love you.” according to the Argentine newspaper The nationciting well-informed sources.
The emeritus passed away this Saturday morning, in his bedroom in the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, located within the walls of the Vatican, at 95 years of age.
His private secretary, Georg Gänswein, informed Pope Francis after the event, according to the newspaper. The pontiff went to the monastery just ten minutes later and He prayed silently next to the body of Benedict XVI.
The nation points out that the holy father wanted the news of the death of the emeritus pope be known as soon as possible.
Pope Francis, in his general audience on Wednesday, had already asked the faithful to pray for the delicate state of health of Benedict XVI.
The funeral will be next Thursday, January 5, at 9:30 a.m., and will be held in the Plaza de San Pedro.
(With information from Europe Press Y EFE)