Cardinal Ratzinger Prays for Beatification of John Paul I

Recalls Albino Luciani's "Goodness and Humility"

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BELLUNO, Italy, OCT. 20, 2004 (Zenit.org).- For Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Pope John Paul I is "an example for all" and he prays for his beatification.



Almost a year after the opening of the process of beatification of Albino Luciani, the cardinal traveled to the province of Belluno, in northwestern Italy, where John Paul I came from. At the time of his election as Pope, he was patriarch of Venice.

Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, chose this setting at the foot of the Dolomites to present his book "Faith, Truth, Tolerance. Christianity and the Religions of the World." The presentation took place Saturday in the Pope Luciani Center of Col Cumano.

"I pray every day for this beatification; Pope Luciani is an example for all," Cardinal Ratzinger said, speaking of the man who governed the Church for 33 days with the name John Paul I.

"He is a figure I have loved much," the Italian newspaper Avvenire quoted the cardinal as saying. "I was impressed by Luciani's goodness and great humility.

"I remember when I was a very young archbishop of Munich and Luciani came to see me, with great simplicity, to Bressanone, where I was spending a brief holiday. His goodness of heart made a great impression on me."

The cardinal also described Luciani as a "man of great faith" and "great loftiness." And he continued: "His book 'Illustrissimi' shows how much he read, how much he reflected."

"Luciani also had thorough theological learning," the prefect of the doctrinal congregation said. "Speaking with him, one perceived that he was an essential man -- that he focused on the simple, but was in no way simplistic."

Albino Luciani was born on Oct. 17, 1912 in Canale d'Agordo, a village in the valley of Cordevole. Elected Pope on Aug. 26, 1978, he died unexpectedly, weeks later on Sept. 28.