Rome, Italy, Jul 12, 2013 / 01:07 pm (CNA).- The director of L’Osservatore Romano, Giovanni Maria Vian, said Pope Francis’ encyclical “Lumen Fidei” could be considered a “bridge” between two successors of St. Peter.
In an editorial published on July 6, Vian said, “The image of a bridge perhaps best represents the encyclical Lumen Fidei as an extraordinary text uniting the pontificates of Benedict XVI and his successor Francis.”
He said that it “is not a coincidence” that the release of the encyclical, “in and of itself already quite out of the ordinary, was preceded a few hours earlier by the presentation of the document and later the historic announcement of the canonization of two authentically Christian and exemplary Popes: John XXIII and John Paul II.”
The encounter between Pope Francis and Benedict XVI was a visible expression of the fraternity between the Bishop of Rome and his predecessor, he added.
“This is the immediate and profound context one should consider when reading and understanding this encyclical,” Vian said, quoting the words of Pope Francis during the Angelus on June 30:
“Pope Benedict XVI has given us a great example in this sense,” the Holy Father said at that event. “When the Lord had made it clear, in prayer, what was the step he had to take, he followed, with a great sense of discernment and courage, his conscience, that is, the will of God that spoke to his heart – and this example of our father does much good to all of us, as an example to follow.”
“The continuity in diversity of the succession in the Roman Chair is the background for the document stamped with the date of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul,” Vian emphasized.
For those who wish to read it, he said, the encyclical is a chance to rediscover in the faith “the lamp that guides our steps in the night.”