Although “hidden” to the world, “I will always be with you” in prayer, Pope says

February 16, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

During his meeting with the clergy of Rome, Benedict XVI talks about his participation in the Council. “We hoped that everything would be renewed, that a new Pentecost really would come,” he said, as he explained how some of the documents from the Second Vatican Council came into being

I will always be with youVatican City, February 14, 2013: Even “though I remain hidden to the world [. . .] I will always be close to all you”. In fact, even “retired in prayer, [I]will always be with you, and together we will move ahead with the Lord in certainty. The Lord is victorious,” said Benedict XVI at the beginning and at the end of the meeting that the Bishop of Rome usually holds with the city’s clergy on the first Thursday of Lent.

After a long applause and shouts of ‘Viva il papa’ (Long live the pope), Benedict XVI thanked those present, saying “It is a special and providential gift that, before leaving the Petrine ministry, I can once again meet my clergy, the clergy of Rome. It is always a great joy to see how the Church in Rome is alive”.

In his “chat,” as the pope put it, to Rome’s parish priests and clergy, the pontiff focused on the Second Vatican Council, “as I saw it,” he said.

He began with an anecdote about meeting Card Frings, of Cologne, who in 1961 asked him, one of the youngest professors at Bonn University, to write “a project” for a conference in Genoa, where he had been invited by Cardinal Siri. After reading the text titled ‘The Council and the world of modern thought’, the cardinal liked it and presented it “As I had written it,” Benedict XVI said.

“Shortly after, [when] Pope John invited him (Card Frings) to come” to Rome, “he was afraid he had perhaps said something incorrect, false or that he had been asked to come for a reprimand, perhaps even to be deprived of his red hat.”

“When his secretary got him ready for the audience, he told him, ‘Perhaps now I will be wearing this stuff for the last time,’ then went in. Pope John came towards him and hugged him, saying, ‘Thank you, Your Eminence, you said things I have wanted to say, but I had not found the words to say them’. Thus, the cardinal knew he was on the right track, and I was invited to accompany him to the Council, first as his personal advisor, then, in the first period, perhaps in November ’62, [. . .] appointed as an official expert for the Council.”

“So, we went to the Council not only with joy but with enthusiasm. Expectations were incredible. We hoped that everything would be renewed, that a new Pentecost really would come, [starting] a new era of the Church, because the Church was not robust enough at that time.” Indeed, at the time, “there was the feeling that the Church was not progressing, but getting smaller instead, that somehow it was something from the past and not the bearer of the future.”

We saw “that the initial relationship between the Church and the modern period was somewhat conflictual, having started with the mistakes made in Galileo’s case. We thought we could correct this early error” and that we could develop a new relationship between the Church and the best forces in the world would so as to “open up the future of humanity, to start real progress.”

The pope also mentioned how the Council Fathers immediately opposed what appeared to be certain faits accomplis, like the “lists and nominations” for the commissions. Without hesitation, the Fathers said “No, we are not simply going to vote on already made lists. We are subjects.”

“They had to move the elections,” he added, “because the Fathers themselves wanted to get to know each other a little. They wanted to make their own lists. So it was done. It was not a revolutionary act,” he said, “but an act of conscience and responsibility on the part of the Council Fathers.” This way, he explained, they experienced “the universality of the Church and the reality of the Church that does not merely receive imperatives from above, but grows and advances together, under the leadership, of course, of the Successor of Peter.”

Benedict XVI went on to talk about how some documents came into being, about the spirit behind them, like the reform of the liturgy (constitution of theSacrosanctum Concilium), ecclesiology (constitution of Lumen Gentium) and ecumenism, with the declarations Nostra Aetate and Dignitatis Humanae.

“After the First World War,” the pope noted, “a liturgical movement had grown in Western Central Europe,” as people rediscovered “the richness and depth of the liturgy,” which had hitherto been almost always locked in the priest’s Roman Missal, while the people prayed with their prayer books.

“There were almost two parallel liturgies, that of the priest with the altar boys, who celebrated the Mass according to the Missal, and that of the laity who prayed during the Mass with their prayer books.”

With the reform, the liturgy of the altar and the liturgy of the people became “a single liturgy, an active participation”. This way, the liturgy’s richness came to the people, “rediscovered and renewed.”

In ecclesiological terms, the First Vatican Council was interrupted in 1870, left as fragment centred on the principle of unilateral “primacy” but the Church is not only primacy.” In the 1920s, theological discussions rediscovered the concept of Mistici Corporis, namely that he Church was not only an organisation but a ‘living body’,” that “the ‘we’ of the believers, along with the ‘I’ of Christ are the Church.” Thus, the Council saw “intense and even [. . .] exaggerated discussions” about collegiality that “appeared, to many, as a struggle for power,” even though “it was not about power”.

The issue of ecumenism emerged in the wake of the passions of Christians during the Nazi era. “From the beginning our Jewish friends said” that “the Catholic Church has to say something about it.” Even if “the Church is not responsible for the Shoah, those who committed such crimes were Christians, for the most part,” [. . .] even if we know that true believers always resisted”.

However, Arab bishops were afraid that this would lead to the recognition of Israel, and insisted that we also speak about Islam. “This is something that we didn’t really understand at the time. Today we know how necessary it was.” As the issue of other great religions was also raised, the initial idea of issuing a statement only about the Jews turned into a statement for all religions.

Still, “It is not possible for a believer to think that all religions are the same. There is a God incarnate who has spoken,” which does not exclude dialogue with others.

In addition, the pope also mentioned “the Council of the media,” of how “the world perceived the Council through [. . .] the media.” So if the Council of the Fathers evolved within the faith” that “creates the intellect within the faith, [. . .] the media,” which is outside the faith saw things as “a struggle for power between different currents within the Church” and logically sided with those who sought “a decentralisation of the Church” based on the “people of God”, i.e. the idea that power was vested in “the laity.” This implied that “the power of the pope” would be transferred “to the bishops and then [. . .] to all,” i.e. “popular sovereignty. For them, this is what had to be approved”.

The media had “no interest in the liturgy as an act of faith, but rather as a community activity, with sacredness as something profane, “a pagan thing” with the liturgy not as “worship” but as “an act that brings people together”. By such translations, the reform of the liturgy was trivialised, “born in a vision of the Council outside of its own key vision, that of faith. And it was so, also in the matter of Scriptures”.

As “the Council of media was accessible to all,” it caused “so many calamities, so many problems [. . .]: seminaries closed, convents closed, the liturgy trivialised [. . .]. The virtual Council was stronger the real Council.” Yet, “50 years after the Council, we see how this virtual Council is breaking down,” and “the true Council is emerging.” Hence, our duty is to work so that the true Council with the power of the Holy Spirit may be realised”.

– asianews

Enter Google AdSense Code Here

Comments are closed.