Saturday, 24 July 2010

Benedict XVI Working on Vol. 3 of "Jesus of Nazareth"

Aide Sees Book at the heart of Pope's Service to People of God

VATICAN CITY, JULY 23, 2010 - A few days ago, Benedict XVI started work on Vol. 3 of his international bestseller, "Jesus of Nazareth."

This was confirmed by Vatican spokesman Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, in the most recent edition of Vatican Television's "Octava Dies."

Vol. 3 will consider Christ's childhood.

"After having handed in some months ago the manuscripts of the second volume, dedicated to the Passion and the Resurrection, which are now being translated and edited in various languages, and should be available next spring, Benedict XVI has now begun the third and last part" of his work on "Jesus of Nazareth," Father Lombardi reported.

The spokesman explained that "as the faithful themselves were able to attest on seeing the Pope last Sunday for the Angelus, after a few days in Castel Gandolfo he seemed reinvigorated and smiling, and has begun immediately to dedicate himself to reading and studying, which, although it requires determination, does not tire him."

He added, "And now he has begun to work to complete his work on Jesus. It is clear, therefore, how important it is for him to finish this great project that he started some years ago."

Free time

Benedict XVI finished the first volume of "Jesus of Nazareth" in late 2006. That edition focuses on Jesus' public ministry.

In the preface of that volume, the Pope mentioned that he began to work on it "during the summer holidays of 2003," when he was cardinal prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and that he gave a definitive form to Chapters 1-4 in August 2004.

Then he added, "After my election to the Episcopal See of Rome, I have dedicated all my free time to get on with the book."

Father Lombardi explained that "on the occasion of the synod of bishops on the Word of God, many addresses stressed the crucial importance of this work of the Pope as a model of theological and spiritual reading of the Gospels, as a guide so that believers will find, through the Gospels, the person of Jesus: 'the real Jesus, the historical Jesus in the true sense.'"

Hence, the purpose of the book is to "lead us to encounter Jesus. It is the very heart of the service of the Successor of Peter for the Church and for men of all times. Benedict XVI is dedicating his 'vacation' to this. Thank you! Have a good vacation, Holy Father!"