~from Catholic News Agency
Italian journalist Vittorio Messori said this week that Pope Benedict XVI is the leader “of a Church that seems to have become the greatest bulwark of reason.”
In an article published by the Spanish daily “La Razon,” Messori said the “intellectual prestige” of Benedict XVI, “which was not lacking in his predecessors,” seems to be the unique characteristic of the current Pontificate.
Messori said that the idea of Pope “as professor” seems to prevail in the minds of the people. This is evident during each of his public appearances in which “the masses of the faithful” do not come to get emotionally charged up, “but rather to learn, almost to attend the lecture of a wise and at the same time generous professor, who breaks down and offers his knowledge to those who do not have it.”
In this sense, he referred to the “first-hand knowledge” that the Pontiff has “of the secular intellectual world.”
“Pope Ratzinger,” he said, is never “invective” nor engages in “ecclesial rhetoric.” “He knows what he says and he makes his arguments.”
In his article, the Italian journalist noted that this intellectual quality, outstanding in the current Pontiff, was not uncommon in his predecessors. “None of the Popes who have reigned during the life of someone who is today in his seventies could be classified as an ‘amateur,’ as a pastor lacking in profound and solid culture and human experience,” Messori said.
Messori said whether people agree with him or not, Benedict XVI’s warnings “are always examined with great attention” by Catholics and non-Catholics alike. As proof he pointed to the words of the Pope and the Lateran University: “It is urgent that new paths be found to help the West out of the dramatic crisis of culture and identity that has unfolded before our eyes.”