Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Benedict, the Do Something Pope

A year into Benedict's papacy, liberals were rejoicing, conservatives were puzzled, and radtrads were up in arms. Little of note had happened, and, despite the obvious groundwork that Benedict was laying, such as in his now famous "Hermeneutic of Continuity" speech in December 2005 and his various weekly audience talks, many had prematurely put Benedict under the "do nothing" column.

How times have changed!

Let us look at some of the things this pope has done:

1. He has mandated an end to the liturgical abuses committed by the Neocatechumenical Way.
2. The Regensburg speech.
3. He has rescinded the indult for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to purify sacred vessels.
4. He has reinstated the 2/3 requirement for the election of a pope, which John Paul II had changed in the case of a deadlock.
5. The letter to Chinese Catholics.
6. There is the motu proprio, of course.

But there is one more thing:

This document, which was released today concerning that pesky word "subsist."

"In number 8 of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium ‘subsistence’ means this perduring, historical continuity and the permanence of all the elements instituted by Christ in the Catholic Church8, in which the Church of Christ is concretely found on this earth.

It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them.9 Nevertheless, the word "subsists" can only be attributed to the Catholic Church alone precisely because it refers to the mark of unity that we profess in the symbols of the faith (I believe... in the "one" Church); and this "one" Church subsists in the Catholic Church.10"

Fr. Martin Fox, over at Bonfire of the Vanities, has a post in which those who lambasted the pope previously are invited to apologize.

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