(08 Nov 08 - RV) Pope Benedict recalled the Pontificate of Pope Pius XII, when he
received participants in a special Convention on the Magisterium of Pius XII promoted
by the Pontifical Gregorian and Lateran Universities, to mark the 50th
anniversary of the Pontiff’s death. Led by Cardinal
Tarcisio Bertone the delegation met with Pope Benedict Saturday Morning in the Vatican.
Indeed the Vatican Secretary of State was the key speaker on the final day of the
convention Friday, affirming that the cause for the beatification of the war-time
Pope is “a religious matter and must be respected as such". In his address to delegates,
Pope Benedict also underlined that over the last 50 years “excessive attention has
been paid to one single issue in relation to Pius XII” and that the question of the
Past Popes’ position during the war-years has been dealt with in “a unilateral way”.
This, he said, has impeded study of the historical and theological breadth of Pius
XII’s Magisterium: countless homilies, discourses, radio-messages and 40 encyclicals
over the 20 years of his Pontificate. Among these Pope Benedict highlighted “Mystici
Corporis” on the nature of the Church and “Miranda prorsus” on the “great
importance of modern communications and their increasing influence on public opinion”.
In fact, continued Pope Benedict, the Pacelli Pope was one of the first to promote
and use the new invention of the Radio and emphasise the moral duty of journalists
to provide accurate and truthful information”. The Pope also spoke of Pius
XII’s pronouncements on the advances of science, stating that his predecessor admired
the “extraordinary progress made” but never hesitated to warn against the risks of
a research that ignored the moral consequences of its discoveries, such as his famous
discourse on the splitting of the atom. Pope Benedict retraced the character of
the Pacelli Pope, describing him as a “measured man and a realist” who wrote each
discourse “with great care, weighing every word before pronouncing it in public”.
He was , said Pope Benedict, a man of “uncommon intelligence”, who had an imbedded
sense of justice and who abhorred the fanaticism of sentimentality. An accomplished
linguist with an iron clad memory, concluded Pope Benedict he above all possessed
the firm will to gift himself completely to God, with a profound love for Christ and