Showing posts with label Pope Benedict XVI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pope Benedict XVI. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Francis Celebrates Ad Orientem at Tomb of John Paul II for Centenary

(Rome) On Monday, Pope Francis celebrated the first Mass since the re-admission of public services in Italy - and that versus DeumIt should also be the last to be broadcast on the media due to the Corona crisis.

Among all the measures that have been taken because of the Coronavirus by the Church,  this was Pope Francis' most radicalIn his diocese of Rome he had all services suspended on March 8th and all churches and chapels closed on March 12th. No diocese worldwide has gone this far. After only 24 hours and an impending uprising, the priests rowed backAt least the parish churches were reopened, all other churches and chapels remained closed. The Pope's diocese remained on the most radical path. The corresponding decrees were signed by Cardinal Vicar Angelo De Donatis, who heads the diocese on behalf of the Pope. The cardinal vicar is formally an auxiliary bishop who acts as vicar general. Cardinalatial dignity has been associated with this since 1558. De Donatis indicated that the order had come directly from Francis. No other would be conceivable. No vicar general would take such a drastic and historically unprecedented step on his own. Since the Vatican had hermetically sealed itself at the beginning of March, Pope Francis also celebrated without the people in the past ten weeks Only two or three priests, a religious and an organist took part in the morning celebrations in Santa Marta. In return, the Pope's morning mass was carried over the world through direct channels. The Mass last Monday morning was the last to be broadcast because public services have been allowed again in Italy since the same day.
Franziskus at Sebastian's Altar (St. Peter's Basilica)
The direct transmissions were not concluded from Santa Marta, but from St. Peter's Basilica, namely from the Sebastian chapel. It is located in the north aisle in front of the chapel. The tomb of John Paul II has been under the altar of this chapel dedicated to the proto-martyr, since 2011. The remains of the Vatican Grottoes, the first burial place, were brought to the beatification. The canonization took place three years later, on April 27, 2014.
At the Sebastian's altar above the tomb of the Polish Pope, who ruled the Church from 1978 to 2005, Pope Francis celebrated the last of the morning Masses that were broadcast. The occasion was the 100th birthday of John Paul II, who was born on May 18, 1920 in the Polish town of Wadowice. Here Pope Francis celebrated versus Deum . It's a direction of celebration that gives his House Liturgist, Andrea Grillo, a flush of anger.
Pope Francis had already celebrated at the Sebastian Altar in the past and in each case versus Deum as an alternative to the direction of celebration that was taken for granted in Church tradition, in the direction of the rising sun, towards the returning Christ who would come from the east.

For the first time, however, the celebration was broadcast by the media on Monday, which is why the unusual direction of celebration since the great liturgical reform of 1969/70 was given special visibility. Photos of the celebration were also distributed by international press agencies such as AFP.
The tomb of John Paul II has been under the altar since 2011
It is said that the Pope celebrated "with his back" to the people, as the actual direction of celebrations has been discredited for half a century, because the previous way of things were adhered to. In plain language: There is no "people's altar" in the chapel of St. Sebastian. Another inaccurate claim, because in the past it has been demonstrated many times over how quickly a portable altar can be set up at any location. Pope Benedict XVI had one removed from the Sistine Chapel, where John Paul II usually celebrated. For the Thanksgiving Mass with the Cardinals, his first mass as Pope the day after the election, Francis had it brought back to the Sistine Chapel.

The unusual orientation for Francis  was no tribute to John Paul II. Be that as the people's altar was shuffled into the Sistine Chapel, undoubtedly the celebration versus populum is preferred.

Liturgical gestures by Benedict XVI. paid special attention because Francis knew how serious the liturgical question was to him. The media rush to judgement. Probably for the exact opposite reason of his predecessor.

Gestures that cannot really be classified are an essential feature of the current pontificate.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi 
Image: MiL

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Vatican Announces Photo of Pope Benedict XVI.

(Rome) Yesterday evening Vatican spokesman Greg Burke published a photo of Benedict XVI on Twitter.
He did not mention a reason for the publication. Burke wrote simply:
"The emeritus pope, today at 5 pm."

H/t Katholisches...


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Benedict XVI Laments the Forgetfulness of God in the Liturgy

The emeritus pope points out in a preface to the Russian edition of his works on the liturgy that if the pre-eminence of God is no longer evident in liturgy and life, the Church is in danger

Rome ( The emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has lamented a "darkening" of God in the liturgy. This is the real cause of the crisis of the Church, writes the 90-year-old in a preface to the Russian edition of his works on the liturgy.

In a widespread misunderstanding of the liturgical form, the emphasis was placed on the division of the liturgy as well as its own activity and creativity. But if the primacy of God is no longer evident in the liturgy and in life, the Church is in danger, according to Benedict XVI. in the preface, which the Italian newspaper La Stampa cited on Wednesday. 

Benedict XVI recalled the principle of the monastic rule of Benedict of Nursia (c. 480-547) that nothing should be preferred above worship. This was deliberately formulated by the founder of Western monasticism in view of seemingly greater urgency in agriculture, artisan work, or science. This priority of God applies not only in the monastic life, emphasized Benedict XVI.  If man were to set God aside, he would be subjugated by constructs that would enslave him and contradict his human dignity. 

Trans: Tancred

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Oriented Liturgy: Benedict XVI Stands Behind Cardinal Sarah -- And Pope Francis Sinks Into Silence

Holy Liturgy: Celebration Direction versus deum, facing to the East,
from which the Lord will come.
(Rome) The news is startling indeed, and was supported by different news agencies like Riposte Catholique and Boulevard Voltaire: Benedict XVI. adopted a position this  October 12th in the Osservatore Romano  on the battle escalating within the Church for the orientation of the Sacred Liturgy. He did not hesitate in himself making the line of Cardinal Robert Sarah entirely his own. Thus, the former head of the Church openly distanced  himself from the line of his successor Pope Francis.
Benedict XVI. has made this downright sensational step on soil familiar to him,  theology. He spoke in favor of changing the celebration direction in the New Rite. The direction of the celebration in the liturgical reform of 1969/1970 facing the people should be abandoned and returned to the celebration facing east, says Benedict. The German Pope wrote:

"In the orientation of the liturgy to the east, we see that Christians want to strive together with the Lord, for the salvation of the whole creation."
It is not the celebrant, who must become  the eyes of all, since - says Benedict XVI :
"A shepherd of the flock of Jesus Christ is never  facing only to the circle of his own faithful."

Benedict XVI. openly contradicts the line of his successor - Cardinal Sarah's Push

Some have expected that since there would be backlash by Pope Bergoglio. Since the publication of the opinion of Benedict XVI.  it's been more than 20 days, so it is probable that no backlash will come, at least not directly.
"The situation is really irritating," said Corrispondenza Romana . A Pope that will be contradicted by his surviving predecessor in a core area, the core area of the Holy Church. In other words: The predecessor slips back into the role of the Pontiff and Supreme Pastor to do what was supposed to be done by his successor, the reigning Pope.
But why has it come about? Last June the prefect of the Roman Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Robert Cardinal Sarah, called upon "all, priests and faithful" to "face eastwards" to turn in the Holy Mass, at least in those central parts of the Mass where one turns directly to God: the Kyrie, Gloria prayers and especially the Eucharist. The cardinal urged not only all priests, again to change the Zelebrationsrichtung eastwards, as it has always been in the Church. He also named a specific date to implement the change: the First Sunday of Advent 2016th
The proposal was immediately agreed upon by Cardinal Raymond Burke, once the highest of judges and lawyers of the Church, whom Pope Francis removed in November 2014 from the Roman Curia because he resisted the weakening of the marriage sacrament.
The proposal was also decisively rejected on the part of those circles in the Vatican, who are close to  Pope Francis. The then Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi rushed to the microphone to explain: "There are no new upcoming liturgical directives."
A statement by the Press Office, with which distanced the Holy See from Cardinal Sarah's proposal remained anonymous. Who was commissioned, which office and which person is in charge, is still unclear. There is no doubt, however, that it was approved by Pope Francis.

Unfriendliness against Cardinal Sarah - backing from Benedict XVI.

Since then Cardinal Sarah was  invited to a few more of the numerous events than earlier that take place continuously in the Vatican. The most recent unfriendliness towards the courageous Cardinal from Guinea was his cancellation as a speaker at the opening of the academic year at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute. For Studies on Marriage and Family. Pope Bergoglio, who had previously conducted profound changes at the Institute, which amount to a change of direction, even gave the opening speech.
It was less marveled at that Cardinal Sarah was not even invited by Pope Francis to commemorate Luther and accompany him to the Swedish city of Lund.
But it was Benedict XVI., who stood with his authority behind Cardinal Sarah and the proposal to "reform the liturgical reform".  It would be difficult for the reigning pope to enter the field against the theological competence of his predecessor,without daring to reveal sheer arbitrariness.
This could explain why  21 days after the publication of Benedict XVI's opinion he is still silent.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: MiL
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches...

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Pope Benedict Breaks Silence and Affirms the Thrice Defined, Infallible Dogma, No Salvation Outside of the Catholic Church

"Council Cast Church and Faithful into a Double Crisis"  - Interview of Benedict XVI
(Rome) Pope Benedict XVI. has broken his silence that he  undertook in connection with his unexpected resignation. Since 2013 he has lived in retirement in the convent, Mater Ecclesiae in the Vatican. Now has given  Avvenire, the daily newspaper of the Italian Bishops' Conference a long interview, which was published in today's issue.
"Let us allow ourselves to be formed by Christ," is the title of a spiritual interview which addresses faith and theology.  It does not involve daily affairs and church politics.
The interview was conducted by the Belgian Jesuit, Jacques Servais, director of the Casa Balthasar in Rome. Father Servais was under Cardinal Ratzinger from 1985-1990 an official in  the CDF and from 1993-1996, the professor of dogmatic theology at the Institute of John Paul II. in Rome. He has published works on Cardinal Newman, Hans Urs von Balthasar and Adrienne von Speyr.

"Without being bound by salvation even the faith is baseless"

The central question of the interview is: "What is the faith and how does one come to believe?"
Emeritus Benedict XVI. spoke to the Church crisis in the interview:
"The missionaries of the 16th century were convinced that the unbaptized were lost forever. After the Council this conviction was abandoned. This resulted in a deep crisis. Without being bound to salvation the faith is baseless."
On the anthropological aspect of man, technology and love:
"People expect in their hearts that the Good Samaritan comes to their aid. In the hardness of the technological world in which feelings count for nothing, the expectation increases of a saving love that is unselfishly bestowed."
For increasing importance of charity:
"It is a sign of the times that the idea of ​​mercy coming from Sister Faustina  becomes ever more central and more dominant."
Father Servais asked  Benedict XVI. about the justification dispute of Martin Luther and the struggle of St. Francis de Sales, who had followed in the wake of the Apostle Paul  for the pastoral care of as many "infidels" as possible against the "terrible fate being eternally lost."  Benedict XVI. proceeds in his reply in detail on the "development of this dogma" Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, because since the beginning of modern times, the historical perspectives with respect to the Middle Ages had changed "radically".

By giving the up the Church's necessity for  salvation, the Council sparked a "double crisis"

"Double crisis" of Church and Faith
Thus, with the fact that the Second Vatican Council has "definitely" abandoned the belief  that there is no salvation for unbaptized, the Church and the faith had fallen into a "double crisis".
"On the one hand  it seems to withdraw any motivation a future missionary commitment. Why convince people of accepting the Christian faith, even if they can be saved without it?
But for Christians, the question on the necessity of faith and manner of life was uncertain and problematic. If there are those who can be saved in other ways, it is ultimately not evident why the Christian should be linked to the need of the Christian faith and its morals. But if the faith and salvation are not dependent on each other, the faith is also groundless.
Recently, various attempts have been made ​​to bring to reconciliation the universal need of the Christian faith with the opportunity to save oneself without them."

Rahner's "anonymous Christian" and the "superficiality" of pluralistic theories of religion are not solutions

Benedict XVI. then addresses two of these "attempts", including the thesis of Karl Rahner's "anonymous Christian",  in the being of Christ is synonymous with humanity. "It is true that this hypothesis is intriguing," but it excludes  "the drama of change and renewal, which is central for Christianity."
"Even less acceptable is the solution proposed by the pluralistic religious theories  for all religions, each in their own way, are ways of salvation  and to be considered in this sense, in their effects, as equivalent. The religious criticism, the way it is practiced on the Old Testament and of the primordial church, is much more realistic, concrete and true in its examination of the various religions." The pluralistic religious theories are "superficial" and "is not appropriate to the size of the question." 
Finally, Benedict XVI names a third solution proposed,  that of Henri de Lubac,  "and some other theologians" who had placed their emphasis on the standing substitute that vicarious substitution. So that it may be that  "the problem is not solved completely."  But it would involve a "material intuition", where it is total but "clear", "that we must think about the whole issue."
The complete interview in the Italian original (Avvenire) .
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Avvenire (Screenshot / Vaticanva / OR
Trans: Tancred
Professional translation also by the Maike Hickson...

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Ingravescente Ætate -- Three Years Ago: The Resignation from Office Struck Light Lightning

(Rome) Three years ago today, Pope Benedict XVI. completely surprised the world with the announcement of his resignation. 17 days later, he resigned from the office of Peter and left the Vatican. He changed the course of history.

" Ingravescente Aetate ", because of advanced age, was the reasoning that went through like a thunderbolt in the Church. In fact, a real lightning bolt struck the same evening on the dome of St. Peter. A natural phenomenon, which inspires horror to this day.

At that time it was claimed by some quarters in order to placate that the like had been done often and was nothing extraordinary. But neither before nor since has the "like" happened.

Benedict XVI. is yet alive, as his recent public performances have shown, and in command of his faculties.

His resignation is not comparable to anything in church history. No pope before him has resigned for "age reasons" from an office held for a lifetime.

In ten months his successor, Pope Francis, will complete his 80th year. He would have left the circle of papal electors and therefore, de facto, also from among the "papabili".

Link to Katholisches...
Trans: Tancred

Friday, April 24, 2015

2005-2015 -- Ten Years After the Enthronement of Pope Benedict XVI

(Vatican)  It was April 25th 2005 on a Sunday, a day with picture perfect weather as the enthronement of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI took place beyond the magnificent facade of St. Peter's. The new Pope gave an impressive sermon, which was already in a series which he gave as Dean of the College of Cardinals in the Exequies before the burial of John Paul II on April 8th and for the Mass Pro Eligendo Romano pontifice on April 18th. The speech was most notable for the statement: "Pray for me, that I do not flee for fear of the wolves." 

Ten years later it is appropriate to read again what the German Pope said then at the beginning of his pontificate.

Your Eminences,
My dear Brother Bishops and Priests,
Distinguished Authorities and Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Dear Brothers and Sisters

During these days of great intensity, we have chanted the litany of the saints on three different occasions: at the funeral of our Holy Father John Paul II; as the Cardinals entered the Conclave; and again today, when we sang it with the response: Tu illum adiuva – sustain the new Successor of Saint Peter. On each occasion, in a particular way, I found great consolation in listening to this prayerful chant. How alone we all felt after the passing of John Paul II – the Pope who for over twenty-six years had been our shepherd and guide on our journey through life! He crossed the threshold of the next life, entering into the mystery of God. But he did not take this step alone. Those who believe are never alone – neither in life nor in death. At that moment, we could call upon the Saints from every age – his friends, his brothers and sisters in the faith – knowing that they would form a living procession to accompany him into the next world, into the glory of God. We knew that his arrival was awaited. Now we know that he is among his own and is truly at home. We were also consoled as we made our solemn entrance into Conclave, to elect the one whom the Lord had chosen. How would we be able to discern his name? How could 115 Bishops, from every culture and every country, discover the one on whom the Lord wished to confer the mission of binding and loosing? Once again, we knew that we were not alone, we knew that we were surrounded, led and guided by the friends of God. And now, at this moment, weak servant of God that I am, I must assume this enormous task, which truly exceeds all human capacity. How can I do this? How will I be able to do it? All of you, my dear friends, have just invoked the entire host of Saints, represented by some of the great names in the history of God’s dealings with mankind. In this way, I too can say with renewed conviction: I am not alone. I do not have to carry alone what in truth I could never carry alone. All the Saints of God are there to protect me, to sustain me and to carry me. And your prayers, my dear friends, your indulgence, your love, your faith and your hope accompany me. Indeed, the communion of Saints consists not only of the great men and women who went before us and whose names we know. All of us belong to the communion of Saints, we who have been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we who draw life from the gift of Christ’s Body and Blood, through which he transforms us and makes us like himself. Yes, the Church is alive – this is the wonderful experience of these days. During those sad days of the Pope’s illness and death, it became wonderfully evident to us that the Church is alive. And the Church is young. She holds within herself the future of the world and therefore shows each of us the way towards the future. The Church is alive and we are seeing it: we are experiencing the joy that the Risen Lord promised his followers. The Church is alive – she is alive because Christ is alive, because he is truly risen. In the suffering that we saw on the Holy Father’s face in those days of Easter, we contemplated the mystery of Christ’s Passion and we touched his wounds. But throughout these days we have also been able, in a profound sense, to touch the Risen One. We have been able to experience the joy that he promised, after a brief period of darkness, as the fruit of his resurrection.

The Church is alive – with these words, I greet with great joy and gratitude all of you gathered here, my venerable brother Cardinals and Bishops, my dear priests, deacons, Church workers, catechists. I greet you, men and women Religious, witnesses of the transfiguring presence of God. I greet you, members of the lay faithful, immersed in the great task of building up the Kingdom of God which spreads throughout the world, in every area of life. With great affection I also greet all those who have been reborn in the sacrament of Baptism but are not yet in full communion with us; and you, my brothers and sisters of the Jewish people, to whom we are joined by a great shared spiritual heritage, one rooted in God’s irrevocable promises. Finally, like a wave gathering force, my thoughts go out to all men and women of today, to believers and non-believers alike.
Dear friends! At this moment there is no need for me to present a programme of governance. I was able to give an indication of what I see as my task in my Message of Wednesday 20 April, and there will be other opportunities to do so. My real programme of governance is not to do my own will, not to pursue my own ideas, but to listen, together with the whole Church, to the word and the will of the Lord, to be guided by Him, so that He himself will lead the Church at this hour of our history. Instead of putting forward a programme, I should simply like to comment on the two liturgical symbols which represent the inauguration of the Petrine Ministry; both these symbols, moreover, reflect clearly what we heard proclaimed in today’s readings.

The first symbol is the Pallium, woven in pure wool, which will be placed on my shoulders. This ancient sign, which the Bishops of Rome have worn since the fourth century, may be considered an image of the yoke of Christ, which the Bishop of this City, the Servant of the Servants of God, takes upon his shoulders. God’s yoke is God’s will, which we accept. And this will does not weigh down on us, oppressing us and taking away our freedom. To know what God wants, to know where the path of life is found – this was Israel’s joy, this was her great privilege. It is also our joy: God’s will does not alienate us, it purifies us – even if this can be painful – and so it leads us to ourselves. In this way, we serve not only him, but the salvation of the whole world, of all history. The symbolism of the Pallium is even more concrete: the lamb’s wool is meant to represent the lost, sick or weak sheep which the shepherd places on his shoulders and carries to the waters of life. For the Fathers of the Church, the parable of the lost sheep, which the shepherd seeks in the desert, was an image of the mystery of Christ and the Church. The human race – every one of us – is the sheep lost in the desert which no longer knows the way. The Son of God will not let this happen; he cannot abandon humanity in so wretched a condition. He leaps to his feet and abandons the glory of heaven, in order to go in search of the sheep and pursue it, all the way to the Cross. He takes it upon his shoulders and carries our humanity; he carries us all – he is the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep. What the Pallium indicates first and foremost is that we are all carried by Christ. But at the same time it invites us to carry one another. Hence the Pallium becomes a symbol of the shepherd’s mission, of which the Second Reading and the Gospel speak. The pastor must be inspired by Christ’s holy zeal: for him it is not a matter of indifference that so many people are living in the desert. And there are so many kinds of desert. There is the desert of poverty, the desert of hunger and thirst, the desert of abandonment, of loneliness, of destroyed love. There is the desert of God’s darkness, the emptiness of souls no longer aware of their dignity or the goal of human life. The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast. Therefore the earth’s treasures no longer serve to build God’s garden for all to live in, but they have been made to serve the powers of exploitation and destruction. The Church as a whole and all her Pastors, like Christ, must set out to lead people out of the desert, towards the place of life, towards friendship with the Son of God, towards the One who gives us life, and life in abundance. The symbol of the lamb also has a deeper meaning. In the Ancient Near East, it was customary for kings to style themselves shepherds of their people. This was an image of their power, a cynical image: to them their subjects were like sheep, which the shepherd could dispose of as he wished. When the shepherd of all humanity, the living God, himself became a lamb, he stood on the side of the lambs, with those who are downtrodden and killed. This is how he reveals himself to be the true shepherd: “I am the Good Shepherd . . . I lay down my life for the sheep”, Jesus says of himself (Jn 10:14f). It is not power, but love that redeems us! This is God’s sign: he himself is love. How often we wish that God would make show himself stronger, that he would strike decisively, defeating evil and creating a better world. All ideologies of power justify themselves in exactly this way, they justify the destruction of whatever would stand in the way of progress and the liberation of humanity. We suffer on account of God’s patience. And yet, we need his patience. God, who became a lamb, tells us that the world is saved by the Crucified One, not by those who crucified him. The world is redeemed by the patience of God. It is destroyed by the impatience of man.

One of the basic characteristics of a shepherd must be to love the people entrusted to him, even as he loves Christ whom he serves. “Feed my sheep”, says Christ to Peter, and now, at this moment, he says it to me as well. Feeding means loving, and loving also means being ready to suffer. Loving means giving the sheep what is truly good, the nourishment of God’s truth, of God’s word, the nourishment of his presence, which he gives us in the Blessed Sacrament. My dear friends – at this moment I can only say: pray for me, that I may learn to love the Lord more and more. Pray for me, that I may learn to love his flock more and more – in other words, you, the holy Church, each one of you and all of you together. Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves. Let us pray for one another, that the Lord will carry us and that we will learn to carry one another.

The second symbol used in today’s liturgy to express the inauguration of the Petrine Ministry is the presentation of the fisherman’s ring. Peter’s call to be a shepherd, which we heard in the Gospel, comes after the account of a miraculous catch of fish: after a night in which the disciples had let down their nets without success, they see the Risen Lord on the shore. He tells them to let down their nets once more, and the nets become so full that they can hardly pull them in; 153 large fish: “and although there were so many, the net was not torn” (Jn 21:11). This account, coming at the end of Jesus’s earthly journey with his disciples, corresponds to an account found at the beginning: there too, the disciples had caught nothing the entire night; there too, Jesus had invited Simon once more to put out into the deep. And Simon, who was not yet called Peter, gave the wonderful reply: “Master, at your word I will let down the nets.” And then came the conferral of his mission: “Do not be afraid. Henceforth you will be catching men” (Lk 5:1-11). Today too the Church and the successors of the Apostles are told to put out into the deep sea of history and to let down the nets, so as to win men and women over to the Gospel – to God, to Christ, to true life. The Fathers made a very significant commentary on this singular task. This is what they say: for a fish, created for water, it is fatal to be taken out of the sea, to be removed from its vital element to serve as human food. But in the mission of a fisher of men, the reverse is true. We are living in alienation, in the salt waters of suffering and death; in a sea of darkness without light. The net of the Gospel pulls us out of the waters of death and brings us into the splendour of God’s light, into true life. It is really true: as we follow Christ in this mission to be fishers of men, we must bring men and women out of the sea that is salted with so many forms of alienation and onto the land of life, into the light of God. It is really so: the purpose of our lives is to reveal God to men. And only where God is seen does life truly begin. Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary. There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him. The task of the shepherd, the task of the fisher of men, can often seem wearisome. But it is beautiful and wonderful, because it is truly a service to joy, to God’s joy which longs to break into the world.
Here I want to add something: both the image of the shepherd and that of the fisherman issue an explicit call to unity. “I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must lead them too, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd” (Jn 10:16); these are the words of Jesus at the end of his discourse on the Good Shepherd. And the account of the 153 large fish ends with the joyful statement: “although there were so many, the net was not torn” (Jn 21:11). Alas, beloved Lord, with sorrow we must now acknowledge that it has been torn! But no – we must not be sad! Let us rejoice because of your promise, which does not disappoint, and let us do all we can to pursue the path towards the unity you have promised. Let us remember it in our prayer to the Lord, as we plead with him: yes, Lord, remember your promise. Grant that we may be one flock and one shepherd! Do not allow your net to be torn, help us to be servants of unity!

At this point, my mind goes back to 22 October 1978, when Pope John Paul II began his ministry here in Saint Peter’s Square. His words on that occasion constantly echo in my ears: “Do not be afraid! Open wide the doors for Christ!” The Pope was addressing the mighty, the powerful of this world, who feared that Christ might take away something of their power if they were to let him in, if they were to allow the faith to be free. Yes, he would certainly have taken something away from them: the dominion of corruption, the manipulation of law and the freedom to do as they pleased. But he would not have taken away anything that pertains to human freedom or dignity, or to the building of a just society. The Pope was also speaking to everyone, especially the young. Are we not perhaps all afraid in some way? If we let Christ enter fully into our lives, if we open ourselves totally to him, are we not afraid that He might take something away from us? Are we not perhaps afraid to give up something significant, something unique, something that makes life so beautiful? Do we not then risk ending up diminished and deprived of our freedom? And once again the Pope said: No! If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed. Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation. And so, today, with great strength and great conviction, on the basis of long personal experience of life, I say to you, dear young people: Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ – and you will find true life. Amen.

Photo: Trinta Giorni
Post: Giuseppe Nardi
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches...

Friday, April 10, 2015

Benedict XVI.: Liberation Theology is a Falsification of the Christian Faith

(Rome) Benedict XVI. wrote the foreword for a book about his predecessor John Paul II.. "By the side of John Paul II.  Friends and Colleagues Tell" is the title of a forthcoming book. The publisher is the Polish Vaticanist Wlodzimierz Redzioch. Corriere della Sera published some preliminary statements.
Benedict XVI.  personally checked the translation of his words into Italian.  On the question of the "doctrinal challenges," he had to make together with Karol Wojtyla, during his tenure as prefect of the CDF, he replied :
"The first great challenge we faced was liberation theology, which spread in Latin America. Both in Europe and in North America it was common opinion that it constituted a support for the poor and was therefore of course approved. That was a mistake. The poverty and the poor were undisputedly the subject of liberation theology, but in a very specific perspective. (...) It was not about aid and reform, but  the great revolution, from which a new world should emerge. The Christian faith was used as a motor of this revolutionary movement and thereby transformed into a political force. (...) Of course, these ideas were in different variants and they not always appeared with absolute clarity, but overall this was the thrust. Such a distortion of the Christian faith had to be resisted, especially out of love for the poor and the service that would be provided in their favor. " (...)
John Paul II. "Guided us, on the one hand to unmask a false idea of ​​liberation, on the other hand, to show the authentic vocation of the Church to the liberation of man."
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Chiesa e postconcilio
Trans: Tancred

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Case of the Vanishing Preface of Benedict XVI

Where's the Preface?
(Rome) The defenders of the Catholic doctrine of marriage and family are currently facing a bitter wind of late. Pressure  is exerted on publishers who have published their books in defense of the marriage sacrament. Books for the defense of the Catholic marriage and morality, on the way to the synod at the Vatican disappear . Public attacks against the Cardinals, who oppose the Kasper proposal approved by Pope Francis to damage their reputation. Law suits and dismissals.
How much of this is anticipatory obedience, and how much  is a direct order from above, can not be said easily. There is much to indicate a firm command center around Pope Francis. You have a goal in mind and wants to achieve in October 2015. In the background is the rich German church has increased its pressure on Rome. Cardinal Reinhard Marx sent word that Germany can change church practice by itself, should Rome buck the synod again as in October 2014. Marx is a shadow Pope in Munich? In argentinian Rome one wants, were it not for the annoying "conservatives", who do not want to comply to progress.
Among them is the African Cardinal Robert Sarah. The French publisher Fayard submitted a conversation book by Cardinal Sarah in recent days. In it we find the statement: "The idea to leave the profession of doctrine in a pretty box and thus detaching it  pastoral practice, and then, depending on the circumstances,  may develop according to the fashions and passions, is a form of heresy, of pathological schizophrenia. I solemnly affirms that the Church of Africa will oppose any form of rebellion against the Magisterium of Christ and the Church."

A book with a mystery

A book that provides a mystery. The publisher announced it with a "Letter to Pope Benedict XVI Emeritus." And already the front page of the book is published (see picture). Benedict XVI. but is now gone. The book was published without the preface by him. "In all likelihood, Benedict XVI had. written the preface, which was provided for the book, the title page otherwise would not have been designed with the book notice and may have been used for advertising," said Benoit et moi . Why the preface was withdrawn, remains a mystery. "What politically correct ideas gained the upper hand in the publishing house of Fayard to consider the publication of a preface to the Pope Emeritus in the new book unwise?" asked Benoit et moi with the hope that Cardinal Sarah would make public the preface written by Benedict XVI.
The reasons for the missing preface must of course not lie with the French publisher. What remains for the time being, is the suspicion that pressure and intimidation to school those whose defense of Catholic doctrine and order are denounced as "attacks" against the Pope.
Cardinal Sarah has worked 22 years as archbishop of Conakry in Guinea. He knows how to deal with difficult situations without immediately losing his nerve. His predecessor had been imprisoned by the then ruling Guinea Communists for nine years. In 2001 he was appointed by Pope John Paul II. to Rome, who then made ​​him Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples . In 2010 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum and  created him the same year a cardinal. Pope Francis at the end of 2014 appointed him as the new Prefect of the Roman Congregation for Divine Worship . As he was seeking for a successor to Cardinal Canizares,  the Ratzingerianer in origin, and for to be of use in the context of the Church's need for the black African with a serious expression. The determinant seems that after the verbal gaffe by Cardinal Walter Kasper at the synod, Pope Francis endeavored  gestures of good will towards black Africa. The Presidency of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum has since been vacant, which is foreseen in the proposed amalgamation of the Pontifical Councils as part of the reform of the Curia.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Benoit et moi (montage)
Trans: Tancred

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Expressive Photos -- The Anomaly Since February 28, 2013

Bishops of the Ukraine Before the Pope (emeritus) 2015
(Vatican) The Catholic Church had entered into a state of anomaly  on the evening of 28 February 2013 at * o'clock.  The pictures of the end of a pontificate are unforgettable. The departure of a revered Pope. The gates of Castel Gandolfo   close with a haunting sense of loss. But death was not what had  occurred. The pontificate which began on 13 March 2013 is only the second part of the same anomaly. The Church has since lived on successive waves of a rollercoaster of emotions.
Chiesa e postconcilio has published images of two recent scenes documenting this anomaly two years after its commencement. Both show the homage of bishops and cardinals, as are owed to a pope. What is not true: it is not, this is not the Pope, but an entity not existing ecclesiastical law, which is the theologically unexplained figure of a pope emeritus.
Consistory 2015: Homage to the Cardinals before the Pope (emeritus)

Obeisances to the Pope (emeritus) in 2015

In the first place, the Pope,  all seem to agree,  is not Benedict XVI anymore. After offering their homage  the Pope blesses the Ukrainian bishops in the Vatican Gardens. They just came straight from their ad limina visit to the Pope, but to another Pope. 
The  Cardinals bow in homage at the Consistory in St. Peter's Basilica before the Pope. While he stood several meters away and just created new cardinals.
One  anomaly follows another. When this condition will have an end is not in sight. What seems certain is that the "emeritus" Benedict XVI. as under normal circumstances is still Pope, while the reigning Pope would be the Emeritus Archbishop of Buenos Aires. He still could indeed take part in a conclave until December 2016  to elect a new Pope . But when he retires he would not be papabile any more.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Chiesa e postconcilio
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches...