23 May 2021


I have just reread a 2010 Pentecost homily of the Holy Father emeritus; to be embarrassingly personal, it brought tears to my eyes to be reminded of the elegance, the clarity, the Biblical insight with which Benedict XVI spoke and wrote; rereading it was like drinking, after a hot and dry and dusty and sweaty and tiring day, a glass-full of limpidly pure and refreshingly cold water. Here is part of it, translated by Zenit. (In the literal sense of the words, this was uttered ex cathedra!)

[The highlighting in red is my doing. How uncannily this passage points to Bishop Baetzing and the Mandatory Synodal Way!]

"This is the effect of God's work: unity; thus unity is the sign of recognition, the 'business-card' of the Church in the course of her universal history. From the very beginning, from the Day of Pentecost, she speaks all languages. The universal Church precedes the particular Churches, and the latter must always conform to the former according to a criterion of unity and universality. The Church never remains a prisoner within political, racial and cultural confines; she cannot be confused with states nor with federations of states, because her unity is of a different type and aspires to transcend every human frontier.

"From this, dear brothers, there derives a practical criterion of discernment for Christian life: When a person or a community limits itself to its own way of thinking and acting, it is a sign that it has distanced itself from the Holy Spirit. The path of Christians and of the particular Churches must always conform itself with the path of the One and Catholic Church, and harmonise with it. This does not mean that the unity created by the Holy Spirit is a kind of homogenisation. On the contrary, that is rather the model of Babel, that is, the imposition of a culture of unity that we would call 'technological'. The Bible, in fact, tells us that in Babel everyone spoke the same language. At Pentecost, however, the Apostles speak different languages in such a way that everyone understands the message in his own tongue. The unity of the Spirit is manifested in the plurality of understanding. The Church is one and multiple by her nature, destined as she is to live among all nations, all peoples, and in the most diverse social contexts. She responds to her vocation to be the sign and instrument of unity of the human race only if she remains free from every state and every particular culture. Always and in every place the Church must truly be Catholic and universal, the house of all in which each one can find a place."


Gillineau said...

Maybe they are in unity with the Church? I know that's not the official line, but surely there comes a point (April 2020 for me and mine) when you have to look at the behaviour and assume it represents intention. Nothing really from the last few decades of Catholic theology as manifest *on the ground* suggests the Germans are wrong. Only more honest or gauche perhaps, but this move is consistent with the content of contemporary Catholicism. It's the orthodox who are discrepant; it's not our club now.

coradcorloquitur said...

Unless one is a relativist---and therefore heterodox---the rule for measuring the truth of a position or statement on morals or faith is not what prevails in the contemporary church but, in the words of St. Vincent of Lerins, what has always been believed by Catholics everywhere: in other words, Tradition. And that holds (unless one makes a mockery of Christ and His teachings) whether the entire world believes it or whether only one believer remains who holds to what Catholics believed always and everywhere. And yes, that is determinable by history and countless authoritative documents (as well as by healthy reason)---the Modernist cynicism as to whether that ever really existed anywhere notwithstanding, for we know from bitter experience that to the heterodox nothing is ever stable, teachings are mutable, and only their latest fancies and infatuations deserve any respect or attention. Such is their ego and narcissism.