Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Magister reloaded

Some tidbits and comments:

The Legion is closing ranks in defense of Fr. Maciel, and Cardinal Angelo Sodano and other curia leaders are defending him, but the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has gathered corroborative denunciations over the past few months, and on the basis of these it will decide by next winter whether or not to open a formal process. Fr. Maciel’s advanced age – he is 85 – and the fact that he no longer holds any official post make it likely that the sentence, if there is any, will be as nontraumatic as possible for the order he founded.

It is likely that a housecleaning will take place, beginning in the United States, among the rectors and professors of many seminaries, for both disciplinary and doctrinal reasons.

A decision is coming up this winter and may be adjusted to fit Father Maciel's age. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of response they have for him after the previous case that Magister outlines. The reference to the visitation in the US and possible housecleaning seems to contradict the idea that its proceedings are going to be a whitewash.

In Ratzinger’s vision, in fact, only a more “purified” Church can address itself more effectively toward those outside of it – without disguising any of its originality.

He told the representatives of the Protestant communities that he does not believe in an ecumenism made of negotiations on how to democratize the Churches. For the pope, the first question to put on the agenda for Christians is how to bear witness to the Word of God to the world. And the second is how to respond in unison to the “great ethical questions posed by our time” without giving way to the reigning relativistic culture.

One model of ecumenism between Protestants and Catholics that Ratzinger has said he admires is the “interiorized and spiritualized” ecumenism of the monks of Taizé. But he didn’t make the slightest reference, in Cologne, to the meetings in Assisi and the spectacular recreations of these organized every year by the Community of Sant’Egidio.

Meetings, negotiations, papering over differences... bad. Men and women coming together to live and share their personal faith in a Christian community... good. I would guess this is why monasticism has proven so popular for the last fifteen-hundred years and more.

Even with the Muslim exponents he met in Cologne on August 20, pope Ratzinger acted with all his cards showing. He did not visit the mosque, as they had asked him to do; he received them at the archbishop’s residence with a great crucifix behind him.

There are those who lament its absence and those who are glad it's gone. But you don't need the Triple Tiara to know how to intimidate people with the trappings of your office. Make them come to you and put a really big symbol of what you stand for behind you for them to look at as you talk.

To date, Benedict XVI has spoken only once about communion for those who have divorced and remarried. And this was not to reinforce the unconditional ban, but to say that the question “must be studied more deeply” at least in one case: that of the person who was married in church even though he did not believe, and then, having been separated and remarried with another person, arrives to the faith, but sees himself excluded from Eucharistic communion.

Can a non-member of the Catholic Church take part in a sacrament? Is the validity of the sacrament based on belief of those who take part in it? I'd like to see really what they come up with on this question.

Read the complete article The First Synod after the Conclave Gets Underway. The Pope Is Being Tested from www.chiesa.

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