Stratford Caldecott is one of the commissioning editors here at CTS, who has had the privilege of working with the Holy Father on the theological journal Communio.
When we asked him for his reaction to Benedict XVI’s announcement of his resignation last week, he told us:
“My feelings were mixed when I heard the news about Pope Benedict’s abdication. I was surprised, certainly, but also pleased to think that he would have some peace, some time to pray without the burdens of office.
I admired the spiritual freedom he demonstrated in making this decision, I am sure after long and prayerful consideration. As the theologian Joseph Ratzinger, he had been one of the founders (along with his friends Hans Urs Von Balthasar and Henri de Lubac) of the international theological journal Communio, which has done more than any other to shape the way the Church has interpreted the Second Vatican Council. It continues to be an important influence.
As a member of the editorial board of the journal myself, I have had several occasions to meet him both before and after he became Pope, albeit in a group setting. I attended his lecture in Cambridge many years ago, and in 2001 I spoke at a liturgical conference that he chaired.
His personal courtesy and gentleness was admired by everyone, and his holiness has become ever more evident. But holiness, theological expertise, AND an ability to write like an angel are very rarely combined in one individual. More writings will come. And he has clearly not lost the ability to astonish.”
Of related interest: