Monday, September 10, 2007

Pope's General Audiences

If you're like me, you may have had a passing knowledge that the Pope has weekly "Wednesday Audiences" where he talks to pilgrims and blesses their rosaries, medals, and other religious goods. I had never really thought about it, but I figures that the Pope just spoke about whatever he felt like talking about that day. Sort of like a homily: maybe it would tie into the readings of the day or the particular feast day; maybe to some current global happening of significance. Sure, I had heard of the "Theology of the Body," but I imagined that to be a one time thing. I never envisioned that the Pope actually delivers a systematic catechesis through his Wednesday audiences.

But he does!

Recently, Pope Benedict XVI completed a catechesis on the Apostles and the early Christians of the New Testament era. It has recently been released in book form by both Ignatius Press and Our Sunday Visitor (OSV even has a study guide to go along with it). Of course, you can also find the audiences individually on the Vatican website beginning on March 15, 2006, and going through February 14, 2007. As soon as this set was finished, he continued with the natural progression to a series of catechesis on the early Church Fathers, beginning on March 7, 2007. This catechetical series is still underway.

This catechesis makes an excellent companion to his recent book, Jesus of Nazareth. Who better to learn from on these central Church figures than from the Successor to Peter himself? This catechesis is a storehouse of information on these great men and women of the faith.


Invisible Lurker said...

Does anyone have any idea if the catechesis on the Psalms which was begun by Pope John Paul II and completed by Benedict XVI was ever compiled into a book? thanks

Average Joe Catholic said...

Yes. The first half of this catechesis (on the Psalms for Lauds [i.e. morning prayer]) has been published by Liturgy Training Publications and is available on I'm not sure if they have plans to publish a second volume on Vespers (Evening Prayer)

In the UK, the Catholic Truth Society (CTS) has published both volumes (Morning and Evening prayer), but you might have to spend a little more on shipping if you're here in the US.