Category: Pope Benedict XVI

27

In-Flight presser from Romania: Francis on Tradition and Benedict

UPDATE 6/3/19 CNA has published an English translation of the entire press conference. Here are Francis’s comments in fuller context. On ecumenism: I always have this idea: Ecumenism is not reaching the end of the game, of the discussion. Ecumenism is walking together, walking together, praying together… The ecumenism of prayer. In history, we have the ecumenism of blood. When they killed Christians they did not ask: Are you Catholic? Are you Orthodox? Are you...

91

Preaching the Faith with Beauty

Recently, on Twitter, Steve Skojec described the existence of a de facto schism in which “two different and incompatible churches are occupying the same space at the same time.” He expressed a desire to see this de facto schism declared as such “de jure” or under church law.  Without really addressing the content of the comment itself, it certainly raises the question: why is it so hard for people of the same religion to agree...

What to make of Benedict’s essay on the crisis?

This Thursday, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI published an article in a German newspaper about the sexual abuse crisis. In it, the Pope Emeritus takes some hard stances against the decline in sexual morality that took place following the 1960s in general, and the Second Vatican Council in particular. Francis’ detractors, unsurprisingly, have read it as a vindication of their claims that the root cause of the abuse crisis is the Church’s sexual decay. They see...

The Remnant: it is not what you’ve been told

From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge — a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes, so it will lose many of her social privileges (…) And so it seems certain to me that...

Habemus Papam!

March 10-16, 2013 I don’t think I could ever forget this whirlwind week. I had been Catholic eight months and was on a road trip with some college friends in my ’92 Buick Century station wagon (complete with wood paneling). We went to Philly, Manhattan, Pittsburgh, the Trappist Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, and finally Cleveland. We arrived at the Mistake on the Lake the day before the Pope’s election. Pope Benedict’s resignation had crushed...

Suffering is a Part of Holiness

Humility can only take root in the heart through humiliations. Without them, there is no humility or holiness. If you are unable to suffer and offer up a few humiliations, you are not humble and you are not on the path to holiness. The holiness that God bestows on his Church comes through the humiliation of his Son. He is the way. Humiliation makes you resemble Jesus; it is an unavoidable aspect of the imitation...

The Church: A History of Reform

I’m currently making my way through James Hitchcock’s History of the Catholic Church which succinctly summarizes the main developments of the Church over its 2000 year history. One thing this brief survey of the Church has taught me is that the Church is always in need of reform. Four Views of History In broad terms, I have learned that there are four main theories or ways to view history: two secular, two rooted in faith....

We do not Possess the Truth: How the Church Changes Her Teachings

“We must move toward an idea of truth that is evermore inclusive, less restrictive; at least, if we are thinking of the truth of God and not some human truth, however solid it may appear to us. The truth of God is inexhaustible; it is an ocean of which we can hardly see the shore. It is something that we are beginning to discover in these times: not to make us slaves to an almost...

Why does Pope Francis pick on “rigid Christians”?

Be careful around those who are rigid. Be careful around Christians – be they laity, priests, bishops – who present themselves as so “perfect,” rigid. Be careful. There’s no Spirit of God there. They lack the spirit of liberty. And let us be careful with ourselves, because this should lead us to consider our own life. Do I seek to look only at appearance, and not change my heart? Do I not open my heart...

The Pagan law of Eternal Return and the faithful’s inconstancy

“Their position is quite reasonable; nay, in a sense it is infinitely reasonable, just as a threepenny bit is infinitely circular. But there is such a thing as a mean infinity, a base and slavish eternity. It is amusing to notice that many of the moderns, whether sceptics or mystics, have taken as their sign a certain eastern symbol, which is the very symbol of this ultimate nullity. When they wish to represent eternity, they...

The Heart of Francis

The modern western world claims to be thoroughly empirical, so it is a wonder that our culture still clings to fanciful concepts like the “heart.” In this case, I don’t mean “heart” in any biological sense, of course, but rather in its more spiritual connotations.  A pop singer on The Voice might talk about “giving their heart” or “protecting their heart”.  And how can we forget that Black Eyed Peas hit, “Don’t Phunk with My...

Gänswein: Benedict will not comment on Vigano’s accusations

The following is a translation of an article from Die Tagespost. The original article can be found here. The private secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict denies reports which claim that Benedict confirmed the reports of former Vatican diplomat Vigano. The claim that the former pope confirmed the reports is devoid of any truth and has no basis in reality. Archbishop Georg Gänswein, private secretary of Benedict XVI, has rejected the claim that the former pope...

The Cross of Truth and Love

There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don’t know Donald Rumsfeld’s famous formulation has been applied to a variety of subjects and topics. It’s universality speaks to the desire to know, the limits of human understanding, as well as the ability of...

Chaos and the Spirit

Catholics who are alive in Christ know that “in hope we are saved.” We know and trust that God is working, even in what appears to be chaos, to bring salvation to the world. The beginning of Lumen Gentium contains this beautiful passage: When the work which the Father gave the Son to do on earth was accomplished, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost in order that He might continually sanctify...

Don’t Backstop the Pope

Francis is the Pope of the Catholic Church, but at this unique point in our history, we have a Pope Emeritus too. Sure, the old Benedict cardboard cut-outs have been taken down, but they haven’t been thrown away. They’ve been hiding in a back closet for five years, ready to come out for big events. Below, I recall the writings of Paul in 1 Corinthians 3: do not let your preferences, even for a holy...