Benedict XVI, Kiko Argüello, Carmen Hernandez and Fr. Mario Pezzi audience


Madrid December 31, 2022 Memorial of St. Sylvester, Pope

Dear brothers,

We have just received the news of the passing from this world to the Father of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

I remind you that, since he was Professor and then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and then as Pope, we have always had a special gratitude and affection for him; after Pope St. Paul VI and Pope St. John Paul II, he has supported and defended the Neocatechumenal Way.

Since the 1970s, as a professor at the University of Regensburg, after having known the Neocatechumenal Way through the testimony of two of his students, Stefano Gennarini, doctor in Physics, and Toni Spandri, doctor in Law, and a personal meeting with me together with Carmen at his home in Pentling (Bavaria) in 1973, he wrote a letter to three parish priests of Monaco in Bavaria on June 22, 1974, proposing to them to open the Way in their parishes, saying:

“I am convinced, after many conversations (with the two disciples and Kiko and Carmen) that here we are dealing with an authentic hope of renewal that, coming from the spirit of the Bible and the Fathers, is well rooted in the concrete Church, is united to the parish priest, but at the same time opens to new ways of life in faith. From what I have heard, even the Pope (Paul VI) for the moment, on the basis of the material presented to him, has expressed himself on this whole reality in an extraordinarily positive way. Therefore, it would be my great wish, that this experience could also begin in Germany“.

As Cardinal, Prefect of the Congregation of the Faith, at the request of Pope John Paul II, he initiated the process of examination for the approval of the Catechesis and the Statutes, and that, appointed Pope as Benedict XVI, he definitively approved: the Statute of the Neocatechumenal Way with Decree of May 11, 2008, and the Catechetical Directory with Decree of December 10, 2010.

There would be many facts to remember, of his constant support and his affection for me and for Carmen and for the Neocatechumenal Way, especially in Germany.

In communion with Pope Francis and the whole Church, we ask all the Neocatechumenal Communities to pray to the Lord to accept his soul, forgive his sins and allow him to participate in his Glory in Heaven.

With gratitude to the Lord for the many gifts he has given us during his pontificate, I invite you to pray to the Lord for him.

Pray for me! Happy New Year 2023!

Benedict XVI with the families in mission during the audience to the brothers of the Way