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Then-Father Ratzinger’s words on genuine reform

In case you hadn’t yet read the excerpts from a book by then-Father Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI — the excerpts were, after all, rather ‘buried’ in the post (of June 1, below), we re-post some of the more salient passages here, to entice you to read more in the post of June 1.

We emphasize these excerpts in the context of the Holy Father’s perseverance to reconcile the Holy See with the Society of St. Pius X, urging those Catholics who aspire to serve him loyally with the spirit of humble sons seeking wisdom to edify the members of the Church at large, to learn from what the Pope has been thinking for a long time, in order to be ready, should the opportunity arise, to communicate better to him how to draw on or from the (re)sources of tradition and put them to work for the salvation of souls today.

The Church now finds itself in a situation of Babylonian captivity, in which the ‘for’ and ‘against’ attitudes are not only tangled up in the oddest ways, but seem to allow scarcely any reconciliation.
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Rome is ‘occupied’

The following post, written in July of 2005, might have been written yesterday. (more…)

Small is beautiful

In continuation of the post of March 26, what does the Pope’s vision of reform in general mean for a traditional reform?

First, it, too, will be small in numbers, composed of members “with the élan of faith”.

Second, it will be joyful and convinced.

Third, it will be about reform, gradually (or quickly as the case may be) transforming the rest of ecclesial life; but definitely not ‘babysitting’ Catholics of any one sort or stripe. Pope Benedict is not concerned with babysitting anyone or marginalizing them by use of labels or prejudices. One could even say, his sole aspiration for the Church is reform of Her ecclesial life. He, perhaps better than anyone, is painfully aware of the need to reform.

Fourth, it will live at peace with the rest of the Church’s members: hierarchy and people. But the intensity of its joy living the faith will irradiate to the rest.

Those above four points pretty much summarize the crux of the response which former Cardinal Ratzinger gave to Raymond Arroyo’s question about renewal or reform in the interview of September 2003, published elsewhere on this blog. (See the post dated March 26, 2012 for the link to the interview.)

What does Pope Benedict envision for a (traditonal) reform of ecclesial life?

Now is an apt time, in view of Pope Benedict’s letter to the SSPX declining their theological presuppositions for reconciliation, to consider what His Holiness envisions for ecclesial reform. (more…)

Or this.

“We are not greater than our Fathers” … not, that is, at Le Barroux, near Avignon, where the Benedictine community founded forty years ago has flourished in strict observance of the Rule and in love of the ancient liturgical tradition of the Roman Church

Except for the gaff about “schism” and a few other unexplained or mischaracterized events — to be expected in telling decades of history in a few hundred words or less — it is a very moving and informative story.

He (the Pope) is not going to found something without the right men, the clerics

In response to the letter of May 8, the good Abbé suggested that another Pope would be elected [sic], and besides, Pope Benedict wishes to erect an apostolic administration only for the Society of St. Pius X.

Oh. Really?
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An apostolic administration is a permanent juridical person by definition perpetual, and thus its reason of being (tradition) would also be perpetual

Before the publication of the famous motu proprio Summorum Pontificum on 07/07/07, NCCL and colleagues foresaw the need for an apostolic administration, without which the motu proprio might more easily be rescinded under a future pontificate.

In a word, the difference is between ecclesial & liturgical reform, the latter being, alone, incapable of addressing the root causes of the current crisis and also an inadequate though necessary contribution to restoration.

In a word, Monsieur l’Abbé’s response was less than encouraging, as the follow-up letter from NCCL on June 21, 2007 indicates.

Perhaps when more clerics & laymen become more interested in being than doing we shall see the long hoped-for restoration? (more…)