Well, we got a surprise this morning for our Early Christian Worship class... we didn't talk much about early Christian worship, because somehow our professor had been able to arrange for Dr. Robert Moynihan, editor and founder of "Inside the Vatican" magazine
, to come and speak with us!
Needless to say we didn't mind too much that we weren't going to be discussing the differences between Ambrose and Cyril of Jerusalem's writings on baptism after all.
Dr. Moynihan talked to us at length about his personal history here in Rome, and his experiences here and in the States throughout the past 20+ years. Very interesting! One story that was very intersting was his overview of the events surrounding his doctoral dissertation research in 1984. He did his doctorate on the influence of Joachim of Fiore
on the Franciscan order - apparently a "cardinal in Rome" had written a book in which aspects of this was discussed, and so Moynihan read it as part of his research. Well, one day he met the cardinal, and told him that he had read his book, and the cardinal responded, "you are the only one in Rome who has!" That cardinal was none other than our current pontiff, then Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith!
Dr. Moynihan also mentioned briefly something about the spiritual life of Benedict XVI, that he said "no one has written on yet." He said that before being elected pope, Ratzinger was not in the habit of praying the Rosary every day. That changed following his election as Peter's successor - he said to his secretary, Msgr. Georg Gänswein, that they needed to begin. So, regularly now the two of them say the Rosary together! I sure hope that Dr. Moynihan does speak about this more himself in a future issue of Inside the Vatican - it may seem like a small observation, but I think it is a beautiful sign that points to the far broader and deeper spiritual picture of this pontificate. May Our Lady of the Rosary continue to lead our Holy Father, Benedict XVI, and in turn the flock that he has been charged to shepherd, ever closer to her Son!
And many thanks to Dr. Moynihan for taking time out of his (I am sure) incredibly busy schedule to come and speak to a bunch of eager Catholic undergraduate students!! I encourage everyone to read Inside the Vatican
for insightful commentary, theological reflection, and news updates from the heart of the Church in Rome!