Tag Archives: benedict xvi

The Universal Church, Part II (?)

If successful, it would be the first Anglican jurisdiction to reconcile with Rome since Mary I briefly returned England to papal authority in 1553 only to have her successor, Elizabeth I, reverse the move.

American Papist: Not Your Average Catholic!: Rumor: 400k Anglicans to be received back into the Church?
This is technically “blog fodder”, but believable hear-say, and if true, incredibly significant:

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is reportedly recommending that the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) be offered the status of personal prelature. The Traditional Anglican Communion is a group of approximately 400,000 Anglican’s that have broken away from the Anglican Communion seeking to preserve their Anglo-Catholic traditions. They formerly requested entry into the Catholic Church in 2007. These reports are emanating from an Australian Catholic weekly called The Record. {American Catholic}

Catholic Online posts a qualification to its initial report:

Catholic Online promised to up date our readers on this extraordinary story. So, we now pass this on: The National Catholic Register cites a “Vatican Source” as saying that “nothing’s been decided” by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Reports abound that the Congregation has recommended the creation of a personal prelature as the vehicle through which to receive the members of the Traditional Anglican Communion into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. The Register contends that an official at the Congregation spoke with their correspondent Edward Pentin today saying,“It’s something that has appeared on the blogosphere and then been reiterated, but the truth is nothing’s been decided.” We set forth our original story below believing that the sources reporting this exciting news and the history of the dialogue support its accuracy.

This move strikes me as entirely likely, and seems to fit within the general framework of what Pope Benedict has been doing to reach out to other communities who are “all-but-Catholic” (that “all-but” remaining an important destinction, of course). A revealing paragraph from the Register piece:

The news that the Traditional Anglican Communion may reconcile with Rome as a personal prelature (as is Opus Dei) is incredibly cool. While the Traditional Anglican Communion is no longer part of the Canterbury system, it would provide a mechanism for the Universal Church to absorb those Anglo-Catholic who have grown weary of the ecclesiastical and political civil war that has been destroying the Anglican Communion for centuries.

The Society of Saint Pius X was the only schismatic group to form since the Second Vatican Council, and SSPX appears to be well on the road to reconciliation. The other two great schisms of the post-Reformation era, the Anglican Communion and the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, should also be priorities for the Church. It is heartening that Pope Benedict is taking this seriously.

Here’s to hope that the Catholics who have been long torn from the Church — whether in SSPX, Westminster, or Beijing — will soon be reconciled.

Hat-tip to Catholicgauze for emailing this in.

Barnett Reconsidering Benedict XVI?

Checking Barnett,” by TMLutas, Flit(tm), 24 April 2005, http://www.snappingturtle.net/jmc/tmblog/archives/005340.html (from Thomas PM Barnett).

Earlier, grand strategist Tom Barnett was less-than-happy about the new Pope

Ratzinger, John Paul II’s enforcer, basically pulled off an insider succession. This is such a bad thing for the Catholic Church, I am almost speechless.

What an amazingly bad pick. Ratzinger is the Chernenko coming on the heels of enfeebled Brezhnev. Complete step backward that history will blame on John Paul II and his sorry management of church in 1990s and 2000s until his death. The regent assumes the throne.

Until a real New Core or Gap pope succeeds Ratzinger (he should just go with Pope Ratzinger I), the papacy will declline in global relevancy to an amazing degree. I blame JP II for this outcome. That man’s intransigence will end up costing us plenty, and him most of his legacy.

The meat of Tom’s complaint is that as Catholicism, and Catholic power generally, increases in the developing and soon-to-be developing worlds (the Seam and the Gap), a Seam or Gap Pope would have been much better for the faith.

TMLutas argues that this is precisely what Benedict XVI allows

I think that Benedict is going to be a very good transitional Pope, one that is going to make the 1st “Southern” or “Gap” pope much more effective when he’s finally elected. Right now, the College [of Cardinals, the body that elects the Pope] is disproportionately concentrated in historic dioceses that have lost their faithful but not the tradition that a red hat goes to the local bishop. That has to get fixed.

As someone who has been the doctrinal enforcer for JP II for so long, Benedict is going to be able to shift the red hats around to a far greater extent without protest than someone from the South/Gap would. Nobody’s going to worry that Benedict is going to revive liberation theology by sprinkling Latin America with new cardinals. There might be more concern if it were a pope from that region doing it. Suspicion of region favoritism is not a good way to maintain peace in the College.

So here we have an objective measure, something that you don’t need to be an insider to see. If Benedict is truly a “circle the wagons” pope then he’s not going to increase the representation of Africa/Asia/Latin America. If he isn’t, he’ll do it in order to realign power in the hierarchy with people in the pews and make a transition so that the next time around, the Conclave will have an awful lot more diversity and the old European power bloc will be weakened.

There are likely other objective measures to watch for but this is a big one. If the College simply shifts out of eurocentricity under Benedict XVI and becomes more distributed, it will be a worthwhile papacy as far as Gap progress is concerned.

Well said.

Pope Benedict XVI on Priest Sex Abuse

Meditations on the Way of the Cross,” by Pope Benedict XVI (nee Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger), The Holy See, 24 March 2005, http://www.catholic.org/cathcom/international_story.php?id=13446.

Your Turn,” by Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Dish, 19 April 2005, http://www.andrewsullivan.com/index.php?dish_inc=archives/2005_04_17_dish_archive.html#111393477020481863.

Andrew Sullivan posts an email condemnign the Vatican for not choosing someone who will go after pedophiles

As a fellow Catholic with a questioning brain and a personal conscience, your blog was my only comfort this morning as I absorbed the impact of Ratzinger’s election. This was a “circle the wagons” decision. The sex abuse crisis was a wake-up call that the church urgently needs to grow and change- the selection of Ratzinger is a signal that the Vatican still believes they can solve all problems with raw power (theirs) and blind obedience (ours). I never, never thought I would say this, but I really wonder if I can be a Catholic three years from now.

Good thing never talked on the subject… you know, at the Vatican’s Good Friday Mass last month

What can the third fall of Jesus under the Cross say to us? We have considered the fall of man in general, and the falling of many Christians away from Christ and into a godless secularism. Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church? How often is the holy sacrament of his Presence abused, how often must he enter empty and evil hearts! How often do we celebrate only ourselves, without even realizing that he is there! How often is his Word twisted and misused! What little faith is present behind so many theories, so many empty words! How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride, how much self-complacency! What little respect we pay to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where he waits for us, ready to raise us up whenever we fall! All this is present in his Passion. His betrayal by his disciples, their unworthy reception of his Body and Blood, is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer; it pierces his heart. We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison — Lord, save us (cf. Matthew 8: 25).

UpdateProfessor Bainbridge has similar thoughts.