Libraries have always been one of my favorite places on earth. Just ask anyone who knows me. I’m especially fond of public libraries. But private ones are nice too.
Pope Benedict XVI is a gifted writer so it probably comes as no surprise that he loves books and libraries as well. But I still love it when my Pope says that “we are keeping the library!”
Far from being simply the fruit of the accumulation of a refined bibliophile and of a hobby of collecting many possibilities, the Vatican Library is a precious means — which the Bishop of Rome cannot and does not intend to give up — that gives, in the consideration of problems, that look capable of gathering, in a perspective of long duration, the remote roots of situations and their evolution in time.
And why, pray tell, are the Vatican Libraries worth keeping?
From its origins it conserves the unmistakable, truly ‘catholic,’ universal openness to everything that humanity has produced in the course of the centuries that is beautiful, good, noble, worthy the breadth of mind with which in time it gathered the loftiest fruits of human thought and culture, from antiquity to the Medieval age, from the modern era to the 20th century.
And for another reason,
…nothing of all that is truly human is foreign to the Church, which because of this has always sought, gathered, conserved, with a continuity that few equal, the best results of men of rising above the purely material toward the search, aware or unaware, of the Truth.
In the Vatican Library, all researchers of the truth have always been received with attention and care, without confessional or ideological discrimination; required of them only is the good faith of serious research, unselfish and qualified.
All are welcome!