Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass Sunday morning at Castel Gandolfo with members of the “Ratzinger Schülerkreis” – a study group of former students of the Pontiff who have been meeting together for the past thirty years.
This year the group discussed the theme of ecumenical dialogue, and especially the dialogues of the Catholic Church with the Anglican and Lutheran communities.
In his homily at the Mass, Pope Benedict said that “Today, the concepts of truth and intolerance have almost fused together, so that to say that one has the truth becomes synonymous with intolerance. And we Christians do not dare to believe or to speak about the truth.” The Pope said that in a certain sense, it is true that no one can say that he “possesses” the truth, precisely because “we belong to the truth which is a living thing.” And so, he said, we must learn anew “to allow ourselves to be lead by the truth. Then the truth will be able to shine through us anew, for the salvation of the world.”
In recent years, not only former students of then-Professor Ratzinger, but also doctoral students studying the theology of the Pope have been invited to participate in the study days. One of those students, Manuel Schlögl, spoke to Vatican Radio about this year’s study days. “We found out that the goal of the ecumenical development is to be united in Christ. So the Church has to be on the way to this unity in Christ in prayer, in dialogue.”
He said, “The main part of the Catholic Church, perhaps, is to be the instance of truth, of tradition, so we can discuss about this tradition which is reserved, which is transported in the Catholic Tradition.”