[T]here was the Council of the Fathers – the real Council – but there was also the Council of the media. It was almost a Council apart, and the world perceived the Council through the latter, through the media. Thus, the Council that reached the people with immediate effect was that of the media, not that of the Fathers. And while the Council of the Fathers was conducted within the faith – it was a Council of faith seeking intellectus, seeking to understand itself and seeking to understand the signs of God at that time, seeking to respond to the challenge of God at that time and to find in the word of God a word for today and tomorrow – while all the Council, as I said, moved within the faith, as fides quaerens intellectum, the Council of the journalists, naturally, was not conducted within the faith, but within the categories of today’s media, namely apart from faith, with a different hermeneutic. It was a political hermeneutic: for the media, the Council was a political struggle, a power struggle between different trends in the Church. It was obvious that the media would take the side of those who seemed to them more closely allied with their world. There were those who sought the decentralization of the Church, power for the bishops and then, through the expression “People of God”, power for the people, the laity. There was this threefold question: the power of the Pope, which was then transferred to the power of the bishops and the power of all – popular sovereignty. Naturally, for them, this was the part to be approved, to be promulgated, to be favoured. So too with the liturgy: there was no interest in liturgy as an act of faith, but as something where comprehensible things are done, a matter of community activity, something profane. And we know that there was a tendency, not without a certain historical basis, to say: sacrality is a pagan thing, perhaps also a thing of the Old Testament. In the New Testament it matters only that Christ died outside: that is, outside the gates, in the profane world. Sacrality must therefore be abolished, and profanity now spreads to worship: worship is no longer worship, but a community act, with communal participation: participation understood as activity. These translations, trivializations of the idea of the Council, were virulent in the process of putting the liturgical reform into practice; they were born from a vision of the Council detached from its proper key, that of faith. And the same applies to the question of Scripture: Scripture is a book, it is historical, to be treated historically and only historically, and so on.
We know that this Council of the media was accessible to everyone. Therefore, this was the dominant one, the more effective one, and it created so many disasters, so many problems, so much suffering: seminaries closed, convents closed, banal liturgy … and the real Council had difficulty establishing itself and taking shape; the virtual Council was stronger than the real Council. But the real force of the Council was present and, slowly but surely, established itself more and more and became the true force which is also the true reform, the true renewal of the Church. It seems to me that, 50 years after the Council, we see that this virtual Council is broken, is lost, and there now appears the true Council with all its spiritual force. And it is our task, especially in this Year of Faith, on the basis of this Year of Faith, to work so that the true Council, with its power of the Holy Spirit, be accomplished and the Church be truly renewed. Let us hope that that the Lord will assist us. I myself, secluded in prayer, will always be with you and together let us go forward with the Lord in the certainty that the Lord will conquer. – Benedict XVI
Posts tagged ‘Benedict XVI’
Perhaps men today do not perceive the beauty, the grandeur, and the profound consolation contained in the word “father” by which we may address God in prayer, because the father figure today is often not sufficiently present; and this presence is often not adequately positive in daily life. A father’s absence, i.e., the problem of a father who is not present in the child’s life, is a great problem of our time; and therefore, it becomes difficult to understand the profound significance of what it means to say that God is a Father to us. We can learn from Jesus Himself, and from His filial relationship with God, what being a “father” truly means, and the true nature of the Father who is in heaven. – Benedict XVI
Few men do perceive the beauty, grandeur, and consolation of fatherhood, and fewer women, even though it’s the key to everything.
Every Christian relives the experience of Mary Magdalene. It involves an encounter which changes our lives: the encounter with a unique Man who lets us experience all God’s goodness and truth, who frees us from evil not in a superficial and fleeting way, but sets us free radically, heals us completely and restores our dignity. –Benedict XVI
The Church’s tradition has included “admonishing sinners” among the spiritual works of mercy. It is important to recover this dimension of Christian charity. We must not remain silent before evil. I am thinking of all those Christians who, out of human regard or purely personal convenience, adapt to the prevailing mentality, rather than warning their brothers and sisters against ways of thinking and acting that are contrary to the truth and that do not follow the path of goodness. Christian admonishment, for its part, is never motivated by a spirit of accusation or recrimination. It is always moved by love and mercy, and springs from genuine concern for the good of the other. – Benedict XVI
When a brother has wandered astray,
Those who love him will show him the way;
Those who follow the fashion
Of corrupted compassion
Will assure him his sin is okay.
Where does it come from? How is it to be explained? Certainly, there are many factors at work here. But in my view, the crucial one is this certainty, based on faith: I am wanted; I have a task in history; I am accepted, I am loved. Josef Pieper, in his book on love, has shown that man can only accept himself if he is accepted by another. He needs the others presence, saying to him, with more than words: it is good that you exist. Only from the You can the I come into itself. Only if it is accepted, can it accept itself. Those who are unloved cannot even love themselves. This sense of being accepted comes in the first instance from other human beings. But all human acceptance is fragile. Ultimately we need a sense of being accepted unconditionally. Only if God accepts me, and I become convinced of this, do I know definitively: it is good that I exist. It is good to be a human being. If ever man’s sense of being accepted and loved by God is lost, then there is no longer any answer to the question whether to be a human being is good at all. Doubt concerning human existence becomes more and more insurmountable. Where doubt over God becomes prevalent, then doubt over humanity follows inevitably. We see today how widely this doubt is spreading. We see it in the joylessness, in the inner sadness, that can be read on so many human faces today. Only faith gives me the conviction: it is good that I exist. It is good to be a human being, even in hard times. Faith makes one happy from deep within. – Benedict XVI
[W]hat we know as “the West” emerged from the mutually fruitful interaction of ancient Hebrew convictions about the God of the Bible (who comes into history as a liberator freeing humanity from the often bloody-minded whims and caprices of the pagan gods); the Greek conviction that there are truths embedded in the world and in us, truths that we can know by reason; and the Roman conviction that the rule of law is superior to the rule of brute coercion in public life. Absent any of these three supports, the entire Western project in history begins to teeter, and may eventually collapse. – “Benedict XVI and the Future of the West,” George Weigel
The truth that sets us free cannot be kept to ourselves; it calls for testimony, it begs to be heard, and in the end its convincing power comes from itself and not from the human eloquence or arguments in which it may be couched. . . .
[W]e do not so much accept the truth in a purely intellectual act as embrace it in a spiritual dynamic that penetrates to the core of our being. Truth is passed on not merely by formal teaching, important as that is, but also by the witness of lives lived in integrity, fidelity and holiness; those who live in and by the truth instinctively recognize what is false and, precisely as false, inimical to the beauty and goodness which accompany the splendour of truth. . . .
No one who looks realistically at our world today could think that Christians can afford to go on with business as usual, ignoring the profound crisis of faith which has overtaken our society, or simply trusting that the patrimony of values handed down by the Christian centuries will continue to inspire and shape the future of our society. We know that in times of crisis and upheaval God has raised up great saints and prophets for the renewal of the Church and Christian society; we trust in his providence and we pray for his continued guidance. But each of us, in accordance with his or her state of life, is called to work for the advancement of God’s Kingdom by imbuing temporal life with the values of the Gospel. Each of us has a mission, each of us is called to change the world, to work for a culture of life, a culture forged by love and respect for the dignity of each human person. . . .
[O]nly Jesus knows what “definite service” he has in mind for you. Be open to his voice resounding in the depths of your heart: even now his heart is speaking to your heart. Christ has need of families to remind the world of the dignity of human love and the beauty of family life. He needs men and women who devote their lives to the noble task of education, tending the young and forming them in the ways of the Gospel. He needs those who will consecrate their lives to the pursuit of perfect charity, following him in chastity, poverty and obedience, and serving him in the least of our brothers and sisters. He needs the powerful love of contemplative religious, who sustain the Church’s witness and activity through their constant prayer. And he needs priests, good and holy priests, men who are willing to lay down their lives for their sheep. Ask our Lord what he has in mind for you! Ask him for the generosity to say “yes!” Do not be afraid to give yourself totally to Jesus. He will give you the grace you need to fulfil your vocation. – Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI has set for himself the most difficult mission. He wants to heal the evil consequences of the Church’s Revolution of 68 in a non-revolutionary manner. This pope is precisely not a papal dictator. He relies on the strength of the better argument and hopes that the nature of the Church will overcome that which is inappropriate to her if certain minimal assistance is provided. This plan is so subtle that it can be neither presented in official explanations nor understood by an almost unimaginably coarsened press. – Martin Mosebach
I have a knack for missing out on revolutions. I started college in 1972 as the campuses were calming down. I stopped going to church about the same time, as self-expression was besting reverence. I briefly lamented the stifling of the growls of academe, but the changes in the Church, even then, seemed ridiculous.
I returned to the Church, 15 years later, uncontaminated by novelty.
The universities are lost now, I believe, and no longer necessary, but the Church is forever and its sense of the sacred is being restored.
The so-called “stalled pedophile case,” blame for which has been laid at the feet of then-Cardinal Ratzinger, had nothing to do with pedophilia and everything to do with strengthening marriage and the priesthood. – Joseph Fessio, S.J.
It’s all connected: Sexual liberation is an attack on the Church and the family, and on the dignity of the individual. The attackers are now blaming the defender for the effects of their attack.
How blessed we are to have lived during the reigns of two of the greatest popes ever!
We know about the scandal that first broke eight years ago. I won’t rehash the disgusting particulars. Who has been one of very few Cardinals that has done or said anything to forcefully and effectively address this? Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger — Pope Benedict the Great. Ask Marcel Macial. Recall the Good Friday sermon by Cardinal Ratzinger in the reign of his predecessor. Remember his speech before the last conclave. And think of the constant upholding of Tradition and faith in both positions. He has taught, maintained and held the truth that makes us holy. It isn’t the orthodox Bishops and pastors that are likely to abuse children, to abuse the Holy Mass, to abuse the faithful by denying them truth. Yet we see whom the media seeks to destroy, and we should ask ourselves, “Why?” – St. Louis Catholic
This AP story is typical of the genre. Bias is evident throughout. Note the repeated use of the words “stall” and “languish” to describe a pace typical of any bureaucracy. Worse, though, is the insinuation that the Vatican is somehow responsible for the disciplining of a diocesan priest, when in fact every bishop is sovereign in his own see. If the bishop knew that this priest was a threat to children and did not take steps to restrict him from contact with them, then it is the bishop’s — and the priest’s — fault, not Ratzinger’s or anyone else’s.
When will we see an AP article on the deliberate infiltration of the Church by homosexuals determined to destroy it from within?