Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pope Benedict Roundup!



  • Dr. Tracey Rowland, gave an interview with Ignatius Press' Ignatius Insight on "the truth about the pope—and why it matters" (October 15, 2010). Rowland is author of Ratzinger's Faith: The Theology of Pope Benedict XVI (2008), and, most recently, Benedict XVI: A Guide for the Perplexed. Responding to the question "what misunderstandings or misrepresentations of Benedict's thinking do you find most bothersome or in need of correction?", Rowland answered:
    Unfortunately many people, in particular journalists, can only think in dialectical categories like: left-wing, right-wing, progressive, conservative. They never ask questions like: conserve what? or progress toward what? It is very difficult to present Ratzinger's ideas in sound-bites without doing violence to the nuances.

    There is, for example, a sense in which it may well be right to classify Ratzinger as a progressive in 1964 and a conservative today but what changed is not the actual theological beliefs held by Ratzinger, but the historical and theological contexts. In 1964 to be progressive meant wanting to introduce some flexibility into a theological framework which had become ossified and dry. It meant being critical of Suárezian Thomism. Today, being progressive means being in favour of contraceptives, women priests, homosexual "marriage" and Marty Haugen.

    An important point that she makes elsewhere in a series of columns for The Record (Australia) -- the first asserting "Ratzinger was no liberal" (10/07/10); the second addressing the conservative characterization of "Ratzinger as Prefect" (10/13/10).

  • Music as Witness to the Faith: Benedict on Beethoven and Pärt - noting that "Of all the speeches Pope Benedict XVI makes in his role as the Successor of Peter, those of the greatest cultural importance are also those that unfortunately get the least exposure," Daniel B. Gallagher examines a brief address the Pope gave to the Orchestra and Choir of the Academy of Saint Cecilia following a concert given in his honor. (Ignatius Insight October 12, 2010). According to, along with cardinals, politicians and businessmen was a group of Rome’s poor who attended at the invitation of the Pope [VIDEO].

  • Bridging the Anglican-Catholic Gap Kevin M. Clarke examines the ecumenical impact of Pope Benedict XVI's September visit to the UK. On Benedict's praise of John Henry Cardinal Newman as an ecumenical witness:
    The graceful mention of Newman’s fidelity to his conscience is an important one. All too often one hears personal conversion stories in which pastors from other communities desiring full communion with Rome were encouraged -- in some cases even by Catholics themselves -- to remain separate from the Catholic Church to achieve the greatest possible unity. But what is lost in such an approach is the pastor’s duty himself to follow his conscience.

    And this, of course, is why Blessed Newman’s example is so vital. Newman’s ecumenical witness brilliantly illumines the true path to union -- one in which followers of Christ achieve the real unity for which our Lord prays (cf. John 17) by following their consciences, and dialogue and friendship continue in charity and in truth.

  • Deus Caritas Est - A Foundation. A commentary on the Pope's first encyclical by Jake Tawney. Roma Locuta Est September 28, 2010.

  • The Other Curia of Benedict XVI. The Appointments, the Results, by Sandro Magister (Chiesa). "Museums, library, culture, music, media. They are the most visible face of the Vatican. And also most exposed to the judgment of all. Here are the pros and cons, case by case, name by name."

  • A 1999 letter by Cardinal Ratzinger on the reform of the liturgy via Rorate Caeli. In September, Fr. Matias Auge CMF, a veteran professor of liturgy in Rome, former consultant to the Congregation for Divine Worship and disciple of the reformers of the 1960's, published an exchange of letters that he had with then-Cardinal Ratzinger on the topic of the reform of the sacred liturgy. Upon Rorate's request, Natasja Hoven, who works with the Swedish Catholic website Katolsk Observator, provided a translation in English.

  • CNN Report on Benedict XVI Met With Protest: Scholars Lament Media's Failure to Make Real Contribution The secular media's unfounded accusations against Benedict XVI is nothing new. Yet, Catholics quickly responded to another journalistically-shoddy production about the Pope and the sexual abuse crisis. (Zenit News September 29, 2010).

On a lighter note ...