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Vatican to publish private homilies of Pope Benedict XVI

The Vatican will publish the previously uncirculated “private” homilies of the late Pope Benedict XVI in the coming year, the Holy See has announced.

The Vatican Publishing House said Dec. 23 that it intends to release “a book of some 130 homilies given by the late Pope Benedict XVI at private Sunday Masses,” according to Catholic News Service (CNS).

The homilies comprise “30 given while [Benedict] was pope and more than 100 given to members of his household once he retired,” CNS reported.

The homilies were reportedly transcribed by members of Memores Domini, a lay association that lived with Benedict, the news service said. Four female members of the organization worked in Benedict XVI’s papal household and also moved with him to the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery after his retirement.

Neither the Vatican nor the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation, who also announced the publication of the homilies last week, gave a date for when the writings would be fully published.

The Vatican City newspaper L’Osservatore Romano and the German newspaper Die Welt published the first of the homilies earlier this month.

That homily was a meditation on St. Joseph, according to CNS. In it, Pope Benedict observed that “the danger is that if the word of God is essentially law, it can be regarded as a sum of prescriptions and prohibitions, a package of norms, and the attitude, therefore, would be to observe the norms and thus be correct.”

“But if religion is like that, if that is all it is, there is no personal relationship with God, and man remains within himself, seeks to perfect himself, to be perfect,” the late pope said, observing that it is difficult to love a God “who presents himself only with rules and sometimes even threats.”

Read more at Catholic News Agency 

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