Friday, April 7, 2017

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Confesses Initial Neglect of Truth; Gravestone Epitaph; "If we omit the truth, what do we do anything for?"

Seewald: What should be on your gravestone?

His Holiness: [Chuckles] I would say: nothing! Only the name.

Seewald: Your bishop motto comes to mind: 'Co-worker of the truth'. (Cf. 3 John 8) How did you actually come to that?

His Holiness: Like this: I had for a long time excluded the question of truth, because it seemed to be too great. The claim: 'We have the truth!' is something which no one had the courage to say, so even in theology we had largely eliminated the concept of truth. In these years of struggle, the 1970s, it became clear to me: if we omit the truth, what do we do anything for? So truth must be involved.
Indeed, we cannot say 'I have the truth', but the truth has us, it touches us. And we try to let ourselves be guided by this touch. Then this phrase from John 3 crossed my mind, that we are 'co-workers of the truth'. One can work with the truth, because the truth is person. One can let truth in, try to provide the truth with value. That seemed to me finally to be the very definition of the profession of a theologian; that he, when he has been touched by this truth, when truth has caught sight of him, is now ready to let it take him into service, to work on it and for it.

Seewald: 'Co-worker of the truth' would actually be something for your gravestone.

His Holiness; Certainly, yes. I would say if it's already my motto you can set in on my gravestone. 240-241
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