Says It's More Than Benedict XVI's Keen Mind
By Marta Lago
ROME, MAY 26, 2008
Benedict XVI is an effective communicator, not just because every talk he gives is like an "encyclical in miniature," but because there is a secret to his efficacy, affirmed the author of a biography of the Pope.
That secret, says Giuseppe De Carli, is the beauty "that convinces almost more than rational arguments: love, friendship with God, the joy of being Christian. ... Tell me that this is not a Pope who is happy to be Christian."
De Carli, head of the Vatican bureau of the Italian public broadcaster Radiotelevisione Italiana, and a 20-year veteran in covering the See of Peter, has just released "Benedictus: Servus Servorum Dei" (Benedict: Servant of the Servants of God).
The book was presented last week by a group of Church and civil leaders along with the author.
The volume opens with De Carli's description of the Pope as "a man of timid character on the stage of the world." De Carli said he hopes the book "will be at least be placed among those contributions that help in some way to understanding Benedict XVI's personality."
"I made an entirely journalistic attempt to talk about Joseph Ratzinger," De Carli said. "It is the only edition of a newspaper; indeed, it is a newspaper-book. Today there are newspapers that seem like books; I wrote a book that seems like a newspaper."
"We have gone from the communicative and charismatic eruption of John Paul II to a kind of effective communicative minimalism with Pope Ratzinger," the author proposed. "It is effective because it is not supported by the physicality of gestures."
Every talk given by Benedict XVI is an "encyclical in miniature," De Carli said. The Pope's intellectual profile "is that of one who knows how to teach," and "his public, in its many-sidedness, would be surprised by an advertiser."
De Carli suggested: "Pope Wojtyla's style was centrifugal -- he obliged the media to abandon all logic and follow him toward everything and everyone. Benedict XVI's style is centripetal -- he obliges the media to turn toward the mystery that the Church represents with its liturgical tradition.
"From that which has been seen so far, it is a pontificate of concentration and deepening. [...] The fulcrum of the Christian faith is charity, love, it is the only thing that can give a prospect of hope and then rationality and the beauty of the faith.
"I believe that he is a pastor who says much to the people of our time, those who believe and also those who don't believe."