August 26, 2010.
For the past 30 years, Joseph Ratzinger has met each summer with his former students of theology who studied at the universities of Tübingen and Regensburg in Germany. Now, as Pope, he meets with them in Castel Gandolfo. The meeting is a closed door seminar on theology.
This year they are meeting from August 27th to 29th. Among the students is Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna and the U.S publisher, Jesuit Fr. Joseph Fessio.
Together they will be looking at the hermeneutics (or interpretation) of the Second Vatican Council. The Pope has spoken numerous times on this theme. The most significant moment was in December 2005, just weeks after celebrating the 40th anniversary of the closing of the Council.
Address to the Roman Curia (December 22, 2005)
“On the one hand, there is an interpretation that I would call 'a hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture'. On the other, there is the 'hermeneutic of reform', of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us. She is a subject which increases in time and develops, yet always remaining the same. The hermeneutic of discontinuity risks ending in a split between the pre-conciliar Church and the post-conciliar Church. It asserts that the texts of the Council as such do not yet express the true spirit of the Council.”
The Pope did not participate in all sessions of the seminar, but he will close the meeting with a special Mass followed by a meal together with the participants.