Dhe Vatican has the spiritual testament of Benedict XVI. released. The text, which he wrote on August 29, 2006, says: “I pray that our country remains a country of faith and I ask you, dear compatriots: do not let yourself be dissuaded from the faith.” He repeated this appeal , this time addressed to all Catholics worldwide, with the words: “Be firm in your faith! Don’t let yourselves be confused!” The Vatican published the text, written in German, on the evening of Benedict XVI’s death.
The German Pope, who was then in the second year of his pontificate, wrote: “It often looks as if science (…) has irrefutable insights that contradict the Catholic faith.” However, he has seen in his long life as a theologian , “how out of the tangle of hypotheses the reason of faith has again emerged and is emerging. Jesus Christ is really the way, the truth, and the life – and the church, in all its defects, is really His body.”
Benedict XVI expressly deals with in the text also with the influences of natural sciences on the Christian faith and writes: “I witnessed the changes in natural science from afar and was able to see how apparent certainties melted away against faith, not as science, but as only apparently belonging to science philosophical interpretations – just as, of course, faith in dialogue with the natural sciences also learned to understand the limits of the range of its statements and thus its essence better.”
In one sentence, Benedict XVI asks in his spiritual testament for forgiveness and writes: “To all whom I have wronged in any way, I ask forgiveness from the bottom of my heart.”
FAZ.NET documents Benedict’s letter, which was written in old German spelling, as follows:
“At this late hour of my life, as I look back over the decades I have traversed, the first thing I see is how much I have to thank. Above all, I thank God himself, the giver of all good gifts, who gave me life and led me through many tribulations; picked me up again and again when I began to glide, gave me the light of his face again and again. In retrospect, I see and understand that even the dark and arduous stretches of this path were my salvation and that He guided me well there.
I would like to thank my parents, who gave me life in difficult times and, with great sacrifices, gave me a wonderful home with their love, which shines through all my days as a bright light to this day. My father’s clairvoyant faith taught us siblings to believe and stood as a guide in the midst of all my scientific knowledge; the mother’s heartfelt piety and great kindness remain a legacy for which I cannot thank enough.