Benedict XVI

In memory of Benedict XVI

We are infinitely grateful for the High Magisterium of Benedict XVI, and for his precious testimony of faith and Christian life

On the occasion of the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life want to express their gratitude to the Lord for the gift of "this faithful servant of the Gospel and of the Church", as Father Francis called him. We are infinitely grateful for the High Magisterium of Benedict XVI, and for his precious testimony of faith and Christian life.

In his memory, we propose some extracts of speeches / homilies concerning: Ecclesial Movements and New Communities, the World Youth Days and the Family.

Ecclesial Movements and New Communities


From the Address by Pope Benedict XVI to Bishops and representatives of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities (17 May 2008)

The Ecclesial Movements and New Communities are one of the most important innovations inspired by the Holy Spirit in the Church for the implementation of the Second Vatican Council. They spread in the wake of the Council sessions especially in the years that immediately followed it, in a period full of exciting promises but also marked by difficult trials. Paul VI and John Paul II were able to welcome and discern, to encourage and promote the unexpected explosion of the new lay realties which in various and surprising forms have restored vitality, faith and hope to the whole Church. Indeed, even then they were already bearing witness to the joy, reasonableness and beauty of being Christian, showing that they were grateful for belonging to the mystery of communion which is the Church. We have witnessed the reawakening of a vigorous missionary impetus, motivated by the desire to communicate to all the precious experience of the encounter with Christ, felt and lived as the only adequate response to the human heart's profound thirst for truth and happiness.

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The World Youth Days


From the Address of Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of Christmas greetings to the Roman Curia (22 December 2011)

Again and again at World Youth Days, a new, more youthful form of Christianity can be seen, something I would describe under five headings.

Firstly, there is a new experience of catholicity, of the Church’s universality. This is what struck the young people and all the participants quite directly: we come from every continent, but although we have never met one another, we know one another. We speak different languages, we have different ways of life and different cultural backgrounds, yet we are immediately united as one great family. Outward separation and difference is relativized. We are all moved by the one Lord Jesus Christ, in whom true humanity and at the same time the face of God himself is revealed to us. We pray in the same way. The same inner encounter with Jesus Christ has stamped us deep within with the same structure of intellect, will and heart. And finally, our common liturgy speaks to our hearts and unites us in a vast family. In this setting, to say that all humanity are brothers and sisters is not merely an idea: it becomes a real shared experience, generating joy. And so we have also understood quite concretely: despite all trials and times of darkness, it is a wonderful thing to belong to the worldwide Church, to the Catholic Church, that the Lord has given to us.

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The Family


From the Homily of the Holy Mass of Pope Benedict XVI at the VIIth World Meeting of Families in Milan (3 June 2012)

It is not only the Church that is called to be the image of One God in Three Persons, but also the family, based on marriage between man and woman. In the beginning, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply’” (Gen 1:27-28). God created us male and female, equal in dignity, but also with respective and complementary characteristics, so that the two might be a gift for each other, might value each other and might bring into being a community of love and life. It is love that makes the human person the authentic image of the Blessed Trinity, image of God. Dear married couples, in living out your marriage you are not giving each other any particular thing or activity, but your whole lives. And your love is fruitful first and foremost for yourselves, because you desire and accomplish one another’s good, you experience the joy of receiving and giving. It is also fruitful in your generous and responsible procreation of children, in your attentive care for them, and in their vigilant and wise education. And lastly, it is fruitful for society, because family life is the first and irreplaceable school of social virtues, such as respect for persons, gratuitousness, trust, responsibility, solidarity, cooperation. Dear married couples, watch over your children and, in a world dominated by technology, transmit to them, with serenity and trust, reasons for living, the strength of faith, pointing them towards high goals and supporting them in their fragility. And let me add a word to the children here: be sure that you always maintain a relationship of deep affection and attentive care for your parents, and see that your relationships with your brothers and sisters are opportunities to grow in love.

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04 January 2023