If there is a gift that Heaven has given to us through the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, that was not, in any case, the apostolic letter Summorum Pontificum (2007). Actually, such a gift could be a completely different and astounding one. It was the recognition of Saint Hildegard of Bingen a Doctor of the Church, an event that happened on October 7, 2012. But why would such an event be a heavenly gift?
If we wish to comprehend the crisis in which not only our contemporary world, but also the very Militant Church is literally “immersed,” the significance of Saint Hildegard’s works can be crucial. We can learn this from a speech delivered by Pope Benedict XVI on December 20, 2010, to the Roman Curia.[i] Struggling to address the extremely grave scandals of sexual abuse committed by priests, the Holy Father cited a vision described by Saint Hildegard in a letter to Werner von Kirchheim and his priestly community, a vision he equivocally connected to the present state of the Church:
“In the vision of Saint Hildegard, the face of the Church is stained with dust, and this is how we have seen it. Her garment is torn – by the sins of priests. The way she saw and expressed it is the way we have experienced it this year (emphasis added).”
We can observe that Saint Hildegard’s eight-hundred-year old vision is related by Pope Benedict XVI to a situation that occurred in the past 50 years. Most likely, by doing so, the Holy Father not only wanted to indicate the recurrence of an unfortunate situation caused by the committing of certain sins by the members of the sacred orders, but he also intended to draw attention to the relevance of Saint Hildegard’s visions. That’s why he proclaimed the famous Teutonic mystic as a Doctor of the Church. In the same vein, and without adding to many commentaries, we shall present some of the most significant traits of antichrist as portrayed in his works, Scivias – probably completed between 1151 and 1152 A.D. – and Liber divinorum operum (Book of Divine Works) – completed in 1173. This will enable our readers to assess whether these traits can be ‘applied’ to the present crisis or not.
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