The second volume of Pope Benedict XVI’s book series on Jesus was recently released, and Jesuit Father Joseph Fessio commented, “When he speaks to us in this book, as Joseph Ratzinger, he is not engaging the faith of the Church – it’s not a magisterial document.”
Fr. Fessio, who was a student of Ratzinger’s 40 years ago, is director of Ignatius Press, which published the English-language version of the pope’s book, “Jesus of Nazareth – Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection.”
Fessio said one interesting part of the book covers the passage in Matthew 27:25 (“And the whole people answering, said: His blood be upon us and our children.”) that has led some to believe the Jewish people are cursed.
Fessio explained, “He [the pope] says the blood of Jesus is not like the blood of Cain that cries out for vengeance. The blood of Jesus is redemptive blood. It’s bloodshed for the life of the world. It’s not for punishment or vengeance, it’s for salvation and redemption. It’s a beautiful reflection on it – two or three pages – that really kind of changes your whole view on that part of the Gospel, which has been used in the past sometimes for anti-Semitic purposes.”
Listen to the Vatican Radio interview with Fessio.