Pope em. Benedict XVI. © Osservatore Romano (CBA)
Benedict XVI. will in all likelihood not take part in the canonizations on Sunday. He is "no longer as agile as he was a few months ago," said the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Becciu.
Becciu made remarks to journalists at the Vatican on Thursday. Among others, Benedict's predecessor Paul VI will be canonized. and the assassinated Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero.
Paul VI. (1963-1978) had appointed the young dogmatics professor Joseph Ratzinger as an advisory theologian to the Second Vatican Council shortly after his election as pope and named him archbishop of Munich and cardinal in 1977. When, at the end of April 2014, John XXIII. (1958-1963) and John Paul II. (1978-2005) were canonized, Benedict XVI, who is now 91 years old, attended. Still attending the ceremony at.
That Paul VI. and Romero be canonized in the same ceremony, Becciu reasoned that several proceedings had come to an end, making the time for such a ceremony. Both men would have given their lives to the church, Paul VI. in a "bloodless way", Romero as a martyr.
Conscience more important than public acclaim
On the doctrinal letter "Humanae vitae" (1968), Paul VI's last encyclical., which resonated mainly because of its rejection of artificial contraception, Becciu said the pope had been aware that it would make him unpopular; but he had put his conscience ahead of public acclaim.
Salvadoran Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez expressed hope at the same press conference that Francis would also visit Romero's tomb in San Salvador on the occasion of his trip to Panama next January. Francis had positively received a corresponding proposal. The wounds that also existed within the Salvadoran church since the time of the military junta have since healed, the cardinal said. El Salvador is experiencing a "spiritual revolution," according to the auxiliary bishop of the capital diocese.
Future saints: Romero and Paul VI.
Romero, an important representative of liberation theology, came into opposition to the military dictatorship in El Salvador at the time through his advocacy of social justice and political reform. On 24. March 1980 he was shot at the altar during a Mass. His death sparked civil war against military junta that has ruled since 1979. Romero was beatified in San Salvador in May 2015.
With the tenure of Paul VI. is primarily associated with the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), during which the Catholic Church redefined its relationship with the modern world. Born Giovanni Battista Montini near Brescia, the pope also became known for his encyclical "Humanae vitae" (1968) on sexual ethics. His doctrinal letter "Populorum progressio" (1967) on global development and economic ethics was groundbreaking.