Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ignatian Retreat

"I am convinced that the ecclesial crisis in which we find ourselves today depends in great part upon the collapse of the liturgy"
- Josef Cardinal Ratzinger

"If we consider the bimillenary history of God's Church, guided by the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, we can gratefully admire the orderly development of the ritual forms in which we commemorate the event of our salvation (...) The Eleventh Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, held from 2-23 October 2005 in the Vatican, gratefully acknowledged the guidance of the Holy Spirit in this rich history. In a particular way, the Synod Fathers acknowledged and reaffirmed the beneficial influence on the Church's life of the liturgical renewal which began with the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. The Synod of Bishops was able to evaluate the reception of the renewal in the years following the Council. There were many expressions of appreciation. The difficulties and even the occasional abuses which were noted, it was affirmed, cannot overshadow the benefits and the validity of the liturgical renewal, whose riches are yet to be fully explored..."
- Pope Benedict XVI

“What seems to me to be white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it.”
- St Ignatius Loyola

16 comments:

Mr Bleaney said...

"(Doublethink is) the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. ... To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies—all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth."

(George Orwell, 1984)

Londiniensis said...

It is impious to accuse the Holy Father of lying or of "doublethink". He is an astute and clear thinking philosopher: note that in the first quote he is saying "I", while in the quote from the Exhortation he is citing what "the Synod Fathers" were saying. And is not "in a particular way" just ever so slightly weasel-wordish?

Remember, as many commentators of the Apostolic Exhortation have noted, he is playing a long game.

mr bleaney said...

londiniensis,

I'm sorry if I caused any offence. A closer reading of the document seems to reveal at least two narrative voices. Sometimes it is difficult to tell which voice is speaking.

I would argue that the narrator of the first couple of sentences in the quoted text is the Pope himself. If I am wrong, then the Pope is merely making assertions with which he would have vehemently disagreed in the past.

Londiniensis said...

Going back to para 3 of the Exhortation: ... From the varied forms of the early centuries, still resplendent in the rites of the Ancient Churches of the East, up to the spread of the Roman rite; from the clear indications of the Council of Trent and the Missal of Saint Pius V to the liturgical renewal called for by the Second Vatican Council ... Note that the Holy Father is very carefully talking about the liturgical renewal called for by the Second Vatican Council, not the liturgical "renewal" we actually got. Para 3 is not a stumbling block, but in fact very subtle (or am I being too devious, used as I am to deconstructing to the nth degree the sayings and writings of British politicians?).

Moretben said...

Remember, as many commentators of the Apostolic Exhortation have noted, he is playing a long game.

Ars longa, vita brevis. Mine, which has been lived almost entirely amidst "the collapse of the liturgy", and is on any reasonable conspectus well past its half-way point, seems short now for rune-reading, or decoding the syntactical subtleties in major teaching documents.

As "astute and clear-thinking philosopher" I admire the Holy Father enormously; from the Vicar of Christ, however, I hope to be forgiven for seeking si, si; no, no.

Steve said...

I'm still just trying to find the "liturgical renewal" that the document is going on about.

I've been to Rome, and I didn't find it there. It's certainly not here in the States.

Maybe if I say a prayer to St. Anthony it will show itself. It always works for my car keys and my wallet.

Moretben said...

I'm still just trying to find the "liturgical renewal" that the document is going on about.

Oh it's around all right - it just keeps itself cunningly disguised as a Collapse. You need to get yourself some hermeneutic-of-continuity bifocals, my friend. Everything will sharpen up. Trust me.

Anonymous said...

I am a protestant who is looking for the Church of the Apostles. The one Christ left here on earth. Really, I am. Is is wrong for me to infer anything from the "collapse of the liturgy" in the West and it's "ecclesial crisis"? I am mean if I contrast things with the Eastern Orthodox. Isn't such a contrast helpful? Or is that too easy?

Pseudo-Iamblichus said...

Slamming the Jesuits! You get 'em, Ben!

I think my mind is starting to be able to function at this height. Expect a post soon.

rleehistory said...

"It is impious to accuse the Holy Father of doublespeak." So in other words, the paragon of sanctity in the post-conciliar church is the crowd in the story of the Emperor's New Clothes. Because if this is not doublespeak, then neither Stalin nor Mao ever engaged in doublespeak either. And words have no meaning. Is this really what Catholics have come to?

Anonymous said...

"Ars longa, vita brevis. Mine, which has been lived almost entirely amidst "the collapse of the liturgy", and is on any reasonable conspectus well past its half-way point, seems short now for rune-reading, or decoding the syntactical subtleties in major teaching documents."

Amen.

Jack

rlb said...

He said, on taking possession of the Lateran, [I paraphrase] "the Pope does not bring his own ideas but merely passes on that Tradition which has been handed on to him".
In this document he has very selectively taken on the recent Tradition, only by doing that can he purify it and reshape it. The alternative is schism, with his immediate predecessors and with those like the French bishops who would accuse him of turning the clocks back. I would suspect he would say we have had enough of schism in the last 40 years.

Personally, I agree with St Ignatius. I prefer to trust the Church more than my own often defective judgement. Christ promises to be with the Church until end of the ages, he hasn't promised that to me. As Peter the Pope has to put aside his personal opinions. I do not think that is dishonest, I call it acting in faith.

Moretben said...

rlb

I am required to believe the Church rather than to trust to my own judgement on everything relating directly to the Revelation delivered by Our Lord, and by the Holy Spirit to the Apostles at Pentecost. I am certainly not required to believe that what my eyes, ears, God-given intelligence, a lifetime's experience and Cardinal Ratzinger have convinced me to be a Collapse, is in fact a Glorious Renewal with a few occasional abuses. That is not part of the depositum fidei - it's an opinion.

However, the points you raise require to be addressed in a new post, I feel, together with some unanswered related comments on the "Letters" pieces. "the recent Tradition" - hmmmm. Watch this space.

I hope to get around to it tomorrow evening.

Moretben said...

anonymous

These are my own reflections on your question:

http://theundercroft.blogspot.com/2006/11/hermeneutic-of-dissonance.html

rlb said...

I do agree with you really Moretben, but do you not think BXVI is being like an indulgent Father? It is his intention to commend all that is good and to and to pass over in obvious silence anything that is bad or the result of folly or misunderstanding or ignorance or the influence of bad friends.

GD said...

You omitted the most important, final, part of the paragraph:

"Concretely, the changes which the Council called for need to be understood within the overall unity of the historical development of the rite itself, without the introduction of artificial discontinuities."

With "concretely" we have the voice of the Pope.

Note that he speaks not of the actual changes, but of the changes called for by Vat II. This is very subtle, yet very clear. Qui habet aures...

Note also the footnote to this passage:

"I am referring here to the need for a hermeneutic of continuity also with regard to the correct interpretation of the liturgical development which followed the Second Vatican Council: cf. Benedict XVI, Address to the Roman Curia (22 December 2005): AAS 98 (2006), 44-45."