A fresh shipment of tea leaves

The Holy Father has a new book out tomorrow—a lengthy interview or series of interviews with Andrea Tornielli called The Name of God Is Mercy—and Edward Pentin has some extracts at the National Catholic Register. We found this passage particularly interesting, largely because almost no one talks about John Paul I these days:

The Holy Father also remembers being touched by the writings of his predecessor Pope John Paul I, Albino Luciani. “There is the homily when Albino Luciani said he had been chosen because the Lord preferred that certain things not be engraved in bronze or marble but in the dust, so that if the writing had remained, it would have been clear that the merit was all and only God’s. He, the bishop and future Pope John Paul I, called himself ‘dust’.”

“I have to say that when I speak of this, I always think of what Peter told Jesus on the Sunday of his resurrection, when he met him on his own, a meeting hinted at in the Gospel of Luke. What might Peter have said to the Messiah upon his resurrection from the tomb? Might he have said that he felt like a sinner? He must have thought of his betrayal, of what had happened a few days earlier when he pretended three times not to recognise Jesus in the courtyard of the High Priest’s house. He must have thought of his bitter and public tears.”

“If Peter did all of that, if the gospels describe his sin and denials to us, and if despite all this Jesus said [to him], ‘tend my sheep’ (John 21), I don’t think we should be surprised if his successors describe themselves as sinners. It is nothing new.”

(Quotation marks in original.) However, we suspect, since the anticipation is that the Holy Father will issue his post-Synodal exhortation sometime this year, that The Name of God Is Mercy will be read and re-read for hints, if one needs or even wants further hints, on the Holy Father’s inclination on the Kasperite proposal. It is our understanding, however, that the interviews took place prior to the Ordinary General Assembly in October 2015, so we wonder if the book has been tweaked or edited to reflect any shifts in the Holy Father’s thinking since then.