Benedict XV: A Most Unexpected Architect of Vatican II
Benedict XV deserves a place among the architects of Vatican II, even though he may be among the most unexpected ones. This chapter demonstrates how his pontificate was foundational in developing a new spirit of opening to the world, which was later embraced by the Second Vatican Council. Benedict’s farsighted vision of the Church is manifest in his defense of international peace, his actions in favor of Christian unity, and in a new understanding of the Church’s missionary activity. Pope Benedict and the Council are still challenging the Church today, a challenge picked up by Pope Francis who describes peace as an art, loving your neighbor as foundational, and protecting Eastern Catholics and their heritage as a vital issue.