Thursday, August 18, 2005
Pope Benedict on Brother Roger
Pope Benedict, long a friend of Brother Roger, responded to the great ecuminist's martyrdom:
"We have spoken at the same time of sadness and joy. In fact, this morning I received very sad, tragic news.
"During vespers yesterday afternoon, our beloved Frère Roger Schutz, founder of the Taizé Community, was stabbed and killed, probably by a mentally disturbed woman.
"This news has affected me even more because precisely yesterday I received a very moving, affectionate letter from Frère Roger. In it he wrote that from the depth of his heart he wanted to tell me that "we are in communion with you and with those who have gathered in Cologne."
"Then he wrote that, because of his state of health, unfortunately he would not be able to come personally to Cologne, but that he would be present spiritually with his brothers.
"At the end, he wrote in this letter that he hopes to come as soon as possible to Rome to meet with me and to tell me that "our Community of Taizé wants to go forward in communion with the Holy Father." Then he wrote by hand: "Holy Father, I assure you of my sentiments of profound communion. Frère Roger of Taizé."
"At this moment of sadness, we can only commend to the Lord's goodness the soul of this faithful servant of his. We know that from sadness, as we just heard in the psalm, joy will be reborn.
"Frère Schutz is in the hands of eternal goodness, of eternal love; he has attained eternal joy. He invites and exhorts us to be faithful laborers in the Lord's vineyard, also in sad situations, certain that the Lord accompanies us and gives us his joy."