Tuesday, July 27, 2021


 The 94 year old, His Holiness the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI seems to have called out not only German “c”atholism but also the synodal way as practiced by them. What do you think? 

I wonder if these now and then interventions in any way contribute to the frustration the current reigning pope, His Holiness Pope Francis experiences which has led to the complete abrogation of the Emeritus Pope’s agenda for the Church to include the hermeneutic of continuity? 

Was the new Motu Proprio a punishment for an Emeritus Pope who speaks? 

I copy this from Crux which has adds between paragraphs. I cannot get the large spaces out in the copy and paste, so be sure to scroll down to subsequent paragraphs:

This is from CRUX this morning. 

Benedict XVI laments lack of faith in German Catholic officialdom

Benedict XVI laments lack of faith in German Catholic officialdom

In this Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. filer, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI attends a Mass prior to the opening of the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica, formally starting the Jubilee of Mercy, at the Vatican. (Credit: Gregorio Borgia/AP.)

ROME – In a rare lengthy interview with a German newspaper, retired pope Benedict XVI reflected on his 70 years as a priest and lamented what he said is an increasing institutionalization of the Catholic Church in Germany, making it a functional entity rather than the living body of Christ.

In written responses to German magazine Herder Korrespondenz, published in their August edition on the 70th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood, Benedict, 94, said his brief time as a young pastor before getting into academic work made it clear “that many of the functions relating to the structure and life in the church were performed by people who by no means shared the faith of the church.” (I would say that this is a critique of the use of the term “faith of the people” to change the Church when in fact it is the infidelity of the people which should be castigated not encouraged.)

Because of this, the Church’s testimony “must appear questionable in many ways,” he said, noting that faith and disbelief “were mixed together in a strange way, and this had to come out at some point and cause a breakdown that would eventually bury the faith.”

Benedict said that in his view, “a divorce was necessary,” in this regard, and cautioned against the idea of thinking of the Church as a body of saints who have already reached perfection. (I can’t help but think this is directed toward synodality as currently ideologized.)

“That this thought recurring in history is a false dream, which reality always immediately refutes, became particularly clear to me in my Augustine studies on Donatism,” he said, referring to an ancient Christian sect arguing that Catholic clergy had to be faultless in order for their ministry and prayers to be effective, and sacraments valid.

Under this belief, only people who presented themselves as true believers “without any stain” were qualified to become bishops, Benedict said, noting that this idea eventually pushed the sect “more and more into sectarianism and, in fact, proved forever that the church includes wheat and chaff, good and bad fish.”

From a pastoral perspective, then, “it could not be about separating good and bad from one another, but it could be about separating believers and unbelievers,” he said.

Since his pastoral days, the problem of this lack of faith “has become more and more apparent,” he said, insisting that in a swath of Church institutions – hospitals, schools, Caritas offices – “many people are involved in decisive positions who do not support the internal mission of the church and thus often obscure the witness of this institution.”

This seeps into the public and private statements the Church makes, he said, noting that the term “official church” was formulated “to express the contrast between what is officially required and what is personally believed.”

The phrase ‘official church,’ he said, “insinuates an inner contradiction between what faith actually wants and means, and its depersonalization.”

Unfortunately, he said, it is largely the case “that the official texts of the Church in Germany are largely formed by people for whom the faith is only official. In this sense, I have to admit that the term ‘official church’ actually applies to a large part of official church texts in Germany.” 

Benedict recalled how while he was a young professor, he had asked a young bishop who was a friend of his to contribute a text to be published in the Catholic magazine Communio, in which the bishop described his work at the bishops’ conference.

“The manuscript he sent us, however, was obviously written by his section and was in fact the language of the apparatus, not the language of a person,” Benedict said, adding, “Unfortunately, this experience was repeated many times later.”

In this regard, Benedict was asked about a speech he made in the southwestern university town of Freiburg in 2011, in which he pointed to a tendency within the Church to place greater weight on “organization and institutionalization” than the Church’s “vocation to openness towards God.”

At the time, Benedict spoke of the need for a “de-worlding” of the Church – a term borrowed from German philosopher Martin Heidegger – meaning it is one detached from worldliness.

In his comments to Herder Korrespondenz, Benedict questioned whether Heidegger’s concept of “de-worlding” was the right term, saying “I don’t know whether I wisely chose the word.”

“What the church has to say ex officio, it says an office, not a person,” he said, noting that “As long as only the office, but not the heart and the spirit, speak in official church texts, the exodus from the world of faith will continue.”

“Therefore, then as now, it seemed important to me to get the person out of the cover of the office and to expect a real personal testimony of faith from the speakers of the Church,” he said.

The concept of “de-worlding” refers only to the negative aspect “of the movement I am concerned with, namely stepping out of speech and the practical constraints of a time into the freedom of faith,” whereas “it is precisely this side, the positive, that is not sufficiently expressed” in the term, he said.

Conducted in early summer 2021, the interview consisted of written responses to questions submitted by German journalist Tobias Winstel and focused largely on Benedict XVI’s brief time as pastor the at Precious Blood church in the Bogenhausen district of Munich after his ordination on June 29, 1951.

When asked if he believed he was a good pastor during that time, Benedict responded, “I don’t dare judge whether I’ve been a good priest and pastor,” but insisted that “I have tried in my own way to meet the demands of my office and ordination.”

At the close of his lengthy and wide-ranging responses, during which he addressed a variety of topics including his experience of hearing confessions, preaching to children, and his own path into academia, Benedict recalled his time at Precious Blood, saying, “Even if I will no longer be able to tread the paths of Bogenhausen in this world, they are a precious piece of my life, which I am sure will also be preserved in the hereafter.


Pierre said...

Father McDonald,

A bit off topic, but I ask that you please go to Father Z this morning. There is a picture that will bring a tear to your eye. A little boy who lives in a wheel chair, pulled himself onto a kneeler to receive his First Holy Communion. It is ineffable!

Pierre said...

Here is a great quote from a French priest. It seems to echo what Pope Benedict was telling us:

I am strongly opposed to any fetishism of Vatican II, a fetishism has nothing to do with the theological infallibility of the Council itself. It was a pastoral council that took place during a time of extraordinary optimism. Today we are in a very different situation: a very dark period, extremely black. The optimism that made Vatican II is entirely forgotten. [Emphasis added] The Church would do well to adapt to the new social situation it is facing, notably the impoverishment of the so-called "rich" populations, the despair and the generalized loss of reference points. Not to mention the violence between religions, generated by the demands of radical Islam. Recourse to the universal virtue of Religion for a peaceful inter-religious dialogue (advocated by Vatican II) is no longer enough, especially at a time when we are discovering that religion to the sound of "Allah Akbar" can become a murderous vice.

Pierre said...

Why does Pope Francis want these kind of Faithful Catholics?

One national survey of Latin Mass attendees, conducted by Fr. Donald Kloster in 2018, found that only 2 percent approve of contraception, compared to 89 percent of Novus ordo attendees. On approval of abortion, the split was 1 percent compared to 51 percent. On government licenses for gay relationships, 2 percent to 67 percent. The same survey found parishioners at Latin Mass have on average nearly 60 percent larger family sizes, donate on average five times more, and attend weekly Mass at 4.5 times the rate of Catholics who attend the Novus ordo rite.

You would think, based on this, the Pope would suppress the Novus Ordo, if he wants Faithful Catholics. He would be following the "science."

Tom Makin said...

I pray for HFPF but continue to think it would have been better for Benedict never to have resigned.

Victor said...

Thank You.

Fr McD:
It is an interesting conspiracy theory to suggest that Traditionis Custodes was a way of getting back at B16 for his interference. Certainly, Francis cannot seem to silence B16 like putting him far away in a dungeon somewhere, but suppressing the TLM does fit Francis's modernist worldview.

John said...

Romano Amerio. He da MAN! In IOTA UNUM he presents a systematic description and analysis of why and what went wrong in the wake of the pastoral council of 1965.

Benedict XVI proposed a corrective: reform in continuity with Tradition. But that was rejected and is now a dead letter. Only Divine intervention can help us now. The 4 Cardinals warned us. But the giddy revolution opted for secular philosophy and Pacha-mama.

Kyrie Eleison!

Father Andrew J. Fabacher said...

I am rather suprised Holy Pope Francis has not issued a decree of excommunication against anyone who publishes even a single word of anything said by Holy Pope-Emeritus Benedict, as it would certainly be in wonderful continuity with this current papacy were he to so do.

Perhaps he is still planning on, instead, putting the corpse on trial, citing Holy Pope Stephen VI's illustrious and edifying example. This, too, would dovetail perfectly with the current papacy modus operandi.

Bob Robinson said...

Pierre - another survey of Latin mass attendees found that 87% believed that the New Rite was not valid and 92.5% believed Benedict had not resigned and was still the real pope. In other words they were effectively schismatic!