Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Two Shepherds

There are a couple of stories I've been meaning to make mention of. The first fits rather nicely into the theme of yesterday's posting on the continuity and rupture debate ongoing in Italian circles with regard to the Second Vatican Council and was something I picked up on WDTPRS, which in turn came via Rorate Caeli; namely a talk given on October 4th in Los Angeles by the Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, His Eminence Mauro Card. Piacenza.

Speaking to the seminarians he commented:

You will probably be the first generation that will correctly interpret the Second Vatican Council, not according to the “spirit” of the Council, which has brought so much disorientation to the Church, but according to what the conciliar event really said in its texts to the Church and to the world.

A Vatican II different from that which produced the texts we have in our possession today does not exist! It is in those texts that we find the will of God for his Church and is against these that it must be measured, in company with two thousand years of Tradition and Christian life.

Renewal is always necessary for the Church, because the conversion of her members, poor sinners, is always necessary! But there cannot be, nor could there be, a pre-Conciliar Church and a post-Conciliar Church! If this could be so, the second one – ours – would be historically and theologically illegitimate!

There is only one Church of Christ, of which you are part, that goes from Our Lord to the Apostles, from the Blessed Virgin Mary to the Fathers and the Doctors of the Church, from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, from Romanesque to Gothic to Baroque, and thus until our days, uninterruptedly, without any solution of continuity, ever!

And all that because the Church is the Body of Christ, it is the unity of His Person that is given unto us, her members!

You, most dear Seminarians, will be priests in the same Church of Saint Augustine, of Saint Ambrose, of Saint Thomas Aquinas, of Saint Charles Borromeo, of Saint John Mary Vianney, of Saint John Bosco, of Saint Pius X, up to Saint Padre Pio, Saint Josemaría Escrivá and Blessed John Paul II. You will be priests of the same Church that has been made up of so many holy Priests who, throughout the centuries, have rendered the face of Christ, Lord of the world, luminous, beautiful, radiant, and, therefore, easily recognizable.

You can read more over there, or look at the entire address in original Italian here. (If anyone wishes to translate the entire address into English, by all means do so.)

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The second item I wished to share was one which one of our readers brought to my attention last week, and which appeared on the blog of Fr. John Boyle, Caritas in Veritate, which looks at some statements made by Bishop Alexander Sample at a Convocation of Priests in the Diocese of Marquette. In that talk, Bishop Sample spoke about his vision or program for the New Evangelisation and, quite aptly, the sacred liturgy played a key role.

Fr. Boyle gives a few insights:

Bishop Sample suggested that the new English translation of the Mass was an opportune time for the Church, for us, to set about the work of renewal and reform of the Sacred Liturgy, and that this is central to the work of the New Evangelisation.

The bishop placed himself clearly in the camp of Pope Benedict who spoke of the need for a reform of the reform long before becoming Pope. Some might say that the bishop just wants to take us back to the way things were before? The fact that he celebrates the Extraordinary Form of the Mass at the Cathedral every month has apparently created some waves. And the positioning of the Crucifix on the altar facing the celebrant has also provoked some comment. But there could be nothing further from the truth. Pope Benedict allowed a greater flourishing of the Extraordinary Form so that it would stand side by side with the Novus Ordo, that both forms might enrich one another.

It is a good time to take a step back and to examine: what has been good, what has been lost, what can we recover. "I'm following, I'm listening to Benedict XVI. I trust that the Holy Spirit guides our shepherd" Bishop Sample said.

Go on over to Fr. Boyle's blog to read the rest.

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