Monday, February 17, 2014

Vatican analyst explores continuity of Francis, Benedict in book

Andrea Gagliarducci has co-authored a new book recalling the period of Lent between Benedict XVI’s resignation and Pope Francis’ election, stating that there is strong coherence between the two pontiffs.
“My book is different because it is a chronicle. The facts are more important than opinions. Obviously, that is our point of view,” Gagliarducci told CNA in a Feb. 10 interview, “we just see a sort of continuity between Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.”
Andrea Gagliarducci is a Vatican analyst for CNA, and contributor for a blog on Italian news agency “Korazym,” and has published his new book, “The Lent of the Church,” along with co-author Marco Mancini.

Speaking of his book's unique perspective, Gagliarducci explained that “we describe it by describing what Pope Benedict said, what he said before and by describing what Pope Francis told after. We tried to find out what Francis quoted from Benedict XVI without quoting him.”

“This is why it is different because we are talking so much about this break” in time “between Pope Francis and Benedict XVI,” he noted, describing that if one looks “at the facts,” this break between pontiffs can be based solely “on the informality of Pope Francis” through the way he interacts with people.

However, Gagliarducci highlighted that “there is not a break in the history of the Church” and there is “not a break in the Church’s doctrine.”

“If we just look at the facts we know that Pope Francis speaks a lot about the Devil, he speaks a lot about the hierarchical Church, he speaks a lot about the love for the Church,” the analyst stated, emphasizing that “Pope Benedict did exactly the same” things.

Korazym editor Angela Ambrogetti spoke with CNA about the book in a Feb. 10 interview, explaining that it offers “a new perspective of how to exercise the Petrine ministry.”

Doctrinally speaking, “nothing new has happened yet because we know Pope Francis often encounters Benedict,” she explained, recalling how Pope Francis referred to the retired pontiff as a “wise grandfather.”

For Pope Francis, “this is something very important,” as Benedict “is a point of reference for him,” Ambrogetti observed, highlighting that “one year later, one can say that coexistence has been fully successful.”

“Neither of the two hinders the other. And there is probably a lot of will on both parts to work together,” she stated.

Veteran Vatican analyst Gian Svidercoschi also spoke with CNA on Feb. 10, revealing this book in particular “has impacted me” because it stands out as one of the only recent books “that does not mark a new historical beginning of the Church with Francis.”

“First there was the period ‘before and after Christ’ and now there seems to be ‘before and after Francis’ as if everything would have begun with Francis,” he explained, noting that despite his lack of enthusiasm for this attitude, “I am a fan of Francis,” and “I was waiting for a Pope like Francis.”

“The Lent of the Church” was published in Italy in December and is only available in Italian.