Tuesday, 14 August 2007

A little bird told me

Much has been overlooked with the recent motu prorio of Benedict XVI. Many on both sides of the liturgical fence have been too busy flinging rocks at one another in this latest round of liturgical terrorism and counter-terrorism to see what the pope is really doing. The triumphalism of some quarters and the pessimism of others has done much to undermine the depth of vision that emanates from the man chiefly responsible for this document. Our pope.

In reality the document is about much more than missals and decrees, it highlights an approach to the Council and its implementation that has been missing from many Church sons since the Council closed- the idea of continuity. This goes far beyond the "we are right and you are wrong" approach. It is to say that the Council itself is something far greater than party politics and that the future of the Church like her past depends on one thing only- Her fidelity to Christ. We haven't come up with a new way of being Catholic, even though its expression may change. We haven't come up for a new reason for why we should be Catholic, man still needs salvation. And just as importantly we haven't had to come up with a new explanation for what Catholicism is or a justification for its existence- the Church is Chris's body and is forever one in Him.

It would seem that there is a tendency on both sides to want to see the Council as something new. The liberal agenda wants to hijack VCII and make it their project and subject to their whims of expression and the latest fads of the day. The reactionary agenda wants to undermine the Council and portray it as some kind of novelty, making it something that came from nowhere and which should just as quickly go back there.

It would seem that the Pope has both camps in mind when he lined up the motu proprio. The great irony is that the liberal and reactionary agenda is the same, to make the Council appear to be what suits their propose and not that their purpose should suit the Council's teaching.

God bless our Pope.

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