Wednesday, March 10, 2010


When you read Cardinal Ratzinger, his books, speeches and teachings and when you see what Pope Benedict has accomplished in his Ordinary Magisterium, you certainly see the hermeneutic of continuity at work. The Second Vatican Council which opened the door to later papal pronouncements and changes in the way Catholics do things all the way from the Ordinary Form of the Mass which is in continuity with the EF Mass if celebrated as mandated, to ecumenism and to interfaith dialogue. This pope has given the Church a more liberal allowance of the EF Mass. What a great gift. Pope Benedict is the pope of the Liturgy and of Ecumenism and of CONTINUITY! Long live the Pope!

From the New Liturgical Movement:

Benedict Speaks on Continuity, New Development and Tradition within the Church
by Shawn Tribe

At today's Wednesday General Audience, the Holy Father spoke on the place of new developments within the Church, on importance of tradition of continuity.

Here is part of the summary provided by the Vatican Information Service:


VATICAN CITY, 10 MAR 2010 (VIS) - During today's general audience, celebrated in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope turned his attention to the written works and doctrine of St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio.

St. Bonaventure "authentically and faithfully interpreted the figure of St. Francis of Assisi ", said the Holy Father. He reacted against the "Spirituals" in the Franciscan Order who, drawing on the ideas of Joachim of Fiore, held that "with St. Francis the final phase of history had begun", and looked to the creation of a new Church of the Holy Spirit, "no longer tied to the structures of old".

St. Bonaventure dealt with this question in his last work, "Hexaemeron", in which he explained that "God is one throughout history. ... History is one, even if it is a journey, a journey of progression. ... Jesus is the last word of God" and "there is no other Gospel, no other Church to be awaited. Thus the Order of St. Francis must also insert itself into this Church, into her faith and her hierarchical order.

"This does not mean", Benedict XVI added, "that the Church is immobile, fixed in the past, that there is no room in her for novelty". With his famous expression "the works of Christ are not lacking but prospering", St. Bonaventure "explicitly formulated the idea of progress", certain "that the richness of the word of Christ is never ending and that it can also being new light to new generations. The uniqueness of Chris is also a guarantee of novelty and renewal in the future".

The Holy Father noted how "today too opinions exist according to which the entire history of the Church in the second millennium is one of constant decline. Some people see this decline as having begun immediately after the New Testament". Yet, the Pope asked, "what would the Church be without the new spirituality of the Cistercians, the Franciscans and the Dominicans, the spirituality of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross? ... St. Bonaventure teaches us ... how to open ourselves to the new charisms given by Christ, in the Holy Spirit, to His Church".

"Following Vatican Council II some people were convinced that all was new, that a new Church existed, that the pre-conciliar Church had come to an end and that there would be another, completely different Church, an anarchic utopia. Yet thanks to God the wise helmsmen of the ship of Christ, Paul VI and John Paul II, defended on the one hand the novelty of the Church and, at the same time, the uniqueness and continuity of the Church, which is always a Church of sinners, and always a place of grace".


Anonymous said...

I find it hard to swallow that Pope Paul VI defended tradition and held it up with one hand, and novelty with the other. How is that reconciled with the brutal imposition of the new Mass and subsequent suppression of the old? We can say it was Priests, Bishops, and even lay people, but it is Peter who runs the Church in the end. This reference just seems to stretch it a little too far. If not, how did we get here?

Gene said...

Because, in the 60's and 70's, what wasn't expressly forbidden was considered permissable. You know, can't you hear the gushingly approving lecturer in one of our liberal universities: "It was a time of experimentation, innovation,creativity. A time when the walls of tradition and long-accepted standards were being torn down in order to give wider range to the human spirit. A new freedom of expression and behavior burst forth from the rubble of the "old order." Pardon me while I puke. (Please excuse the redundancy "liberal university.")

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

from Fr. McDonald: The Vatican encouraged experimentation in the late 1960's and throughout the 70's. The bishops, however, were to provide oversight of this experimentation. I think Pope Paul VI thought that any and all experimentation would be respectful. Unfortunately, the aftermath of Vatican II happened precisely during a period of secular cultural upheaval that affected everything including the Church. Authority, secular or religious was called into question and outright rebellion occurred on college campuses, on the streets and everywhere. The smoke of Satan certainly entered the Church at this time of cultural upheaval. Pope Paul VI was much grieved about what was happening and tried to tow the line, but "Pandora's Box" was opened! Even then Archbishop Ratzinger who was in favor of many of the reforms of Vatican II began to become disillusioned with all the euphoria surrounding Vatican II when he saw outright heresy being preached, liturgies and churches dismantled and the clergy and the faithful falling away from the true faith. He did a turn around. Pope John Paul II in the early 1980's declared the the era of experimentation was over. I think it will take another 25 years for us to recover from that era or experimentation.