Pope Benedict XVI says St. Paul Spoke of Historical Jesus
(08 Oct 08 - RV) Pope Benedict XVI continued his catechesis of St. Paul during his
weekly general audience on Wednesday. We have this report...
Over the past
number of weeks Pope Benedict has spoken on the figure of St Paul during his weekly
This week the Holy Father continued his catechesis on this great
Saint focusing on Wednesday on Paul’s relationship to the so-called historical Jesus.
a celebrated passage Paul states that “even though we once knew Christ according to
the flesh, we no longer know him in that way” (2 Cor 5:16). Here the Apostle does
not claim that he knew Jesus during his earthly ministry, but rather that he once
considered Jesus from a merely human standpoint. Significantly, Paul’s knowledge
of Christ came from the preaching of the early Church. Both his initial rejection
of Jesus and – after his conversion on the road to Damascus – his preaching of the
glorified Christ were based on the Gospel as proclaimed by the first Christian community.
The Pope went on to say that in his Letters, St Paul refers explicitly
to the facts of Jesus’ earthly life, as well as to his teaching.
Letters also reflect many central themes and images drawn from the preaching of Jesus.
Paul’s teaching on the Jesus’ identity as the Son of the Father, in whom we receive
redemption and adoptive sonship, is clearly derived from the Lord’s own experience
and teaching. In a word, Paul’s knowledge of Jesus and his proclamation of the risen
Lord as God’s Son and our Saviour, was grounded in the life and preaching of Jesus
One of those who was at the audience in St Peter’s Square was
Bishop of Duluth in the United States, Dennis Schnurr.
At the conclusion
of his weekly Audience Pope Benedict had warms words of encouragement for diaconal
candidates from the Pontifical North American College and he also greeted all those
pilgrims who had come from many countries to see him.
I warmly greet
all the English-speaking pilgrims, and in a special way, diaconal candidates from
the Pontifical North American College with their families: may the grace of Holy Orders
enliven you to preach the Gospel of Christ with conviction and love! I also welcome
pilgrims from the Diocese of Hamilton, members of Christ Teens Malaysia, ecumenical
pilgrims from Norway, as well as visitors from Indonesia, China, Japan, Australia,
Sweden, England, Scotland, Ireland, and the Netherlands. God bless you all!