Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Excerpts from Sandro Magister on Pope Benedict

[Whole story: A Clear and Coherent Direction in the Beginning of Pope Benedict’s Pontificate, says Vatican Expert]

On the issue of liturgy, “Benedict XVI has wished to restore to the celebration of the Mass the truth expressed by the great liturgical tradition.”

“The pope has said in many ways that the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist is real, supremely real, not symbolic. He said it by adoring the consecrated host silently on his knees, with a million young people in Cologne – in Protestant country! – and with the one hundred thousand children who received first communion in Saint Peter’s Square in Rome.”

In particular, the pope called back to faithful observance of the true liturgical tradition the Neocatechumenal Way: one of the most vibrant Catholic movements of the past half century, but which often modifies the Mass and uses it as an “instrument” for missionary expansion, instead of accepting and celebrating it as the work of God, the “source and summit” of Christian life.

In the second part of his intervention, Magister comments on the way the Pope is managing the Church and his relation to bishops, the way he is implanting the teachings of the Vatican II council. “Benedict XVI has addressed severe reminders to bishops he believes to be timid, doubtful, reticent in teaching true doctrine.”
The pope also wanted to restore its proper truth to Vatican Council II, forty years after its conclusion.

"He has criticized the false interpretation of the Council as “discontinuity and rupture,” as “the spirit” contrasted with “the letter.” And he explained, instead, its “proper hermeneutic,” its “rightful key of interpretation and application”: that is, the Council as “reform,” as “renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us. She is a subject which increases in time and develops, yet always remaining the same, the one subject of the journeying People of God.”

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