Catholic World News

Pope speaks on Peter Lombard, sacramental realism

December 30, 2009

In his last Wednesday audience of the calendar year, Pope Benedict XVI spoke on the work of Peter Lombard, the 12th-century theologian whose Book of Sentences became the standard text for the medieval students of theology. His influence, the Pope explained, sprang from the fact that Peter Lombard provided “a systematic and harmonious framework” in which he incorporated Scriptural insights with the works of the early Church fathers. In this respect, the Pope continued, he should serve as a model for anyone studying Christian doctrine, “so as to guard against the modern-day risks of fragmentation and undervaluation of individual truths.”

The Holy Father went on to highlight Peter Lombard’s stress on the importance of the sacraments, “the great reassure of the Church.” The Pope encouraged all Catholics to recognize the power of the sacraments, making the point that during this Year for Priests, the clergy should make a particular effort “to cultivate an intense sacramental life of their own in order to be able to help the faithful.”


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