VATICAN CITY (CNS) — “The unity of the church is always at risk” and has been throughout its history, but “its unity always has been stronger than its internal struggles and wars,” said retired Pope Benedict XVI.
In a conversation with Italian journalist Massimo Franco, Pope Benedict said that for centuries, the church has been assailed by “wars, internal conflicts, centrifugal forces and threats of schism.”
“But in the end, the awareness that the church is and must remain united has always prevailed,” the retired pope said.
Quotes from the brief conversation were published June 28 by the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, which also ran several photos of the retired pontiff sitting on a bench outside his residence, the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican gardens.
The 92-year-old retired pope also met with Italian newspaper cartoonist Emilio Giannelli, who showed him some of his drawings.
According to Giannelli, Pope Benedict “smiled and even laughed” at a drawing that showed him with a cartoonishly large nose. Another drawing was of the retired pope with former Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.
Commenting on the political cartoon — which depicted the pope telling Monti he would “pray in German” for the failing Italian economy — Pope Benedict told Giannelli, “Italy is very much loved for its vacations; it’s less appreciated for its politics.”
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
or by credit card: