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Cardinal Ratzinger prays for beatification of John Paul I

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has travelled to Pope John Paul I's home Province of Belluno, in northwestern Italy, to spread the message that he was an "example for all" and to pray for his beatification.

The process of beatification of Albino Luciani was opened a year ago.

Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, chose this setting at the foot of the Dolomites to present his book Faith, Truth, Tolerance. Christianity and the Religions of the World. The presentation took place Saturday in the Pope Luciani Centre of Col Cumano.

"I pray every day for this beatification; Pope Luciani is an example for all," Cardinal Ratzinger said, speaking of the man who governed the Church for 33 days with the name John Paul I. "He is a figure I have loved much."

"I was impressed by Luciani's goodness and great humility," he said. "I remember when I was a very young archbishop of Munich and Luciani came to see me, with great simplicity, to Bressanone, where I was spending a brief holiday. His goodness of heart made a great impression on me."

The cardinal also described Luciani as a "man of great faith" and "great loftiness." And he continued: "His book 'Illustrissimi' shows how much he read, how much he reflected."

"Luciani also had thorough theological learning," the prefect of the doctrinal congregation said. "Speaking with him, one perceived that he was an essential man -- that he focused on the simple, but was in no way simplistic."

Albino Luciani was born on 17 October 1912 in Canale d'Agordo, a village in the valley of Cordevole. Elected Pope on 26 August 1978, he died unexpectedly, weeks later, on 28 September.

Cardinal Ratzinger Prays for Beatification of John Paul I (Zenit 20/10/04)

22 Oct 2004