Friday, December 23, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI Certifies the Council – The Real One

In his pre-Christmas address to the Roman curia, Benedict XVI demolishes the myth of Vatican II as a rupture and new beginning. He gives another name “reform,” to the proper interpretation of the Council. And he explains why

by Sandro Magister
ROMA, December 23, 2005 – Benedict XVI has on two occasions satisfied the great curiosity about his comments on Vatican Council II, at the fortieth anniversary of its conclusion.
. . .in his address to the curia on December 22, Benedict XVI went to the heart of the most controversial question. He asked:

“Why has the reception of the Council been so difficult for such a great portion of the Church up until now?”

And he replied:

“The problems have arisen from a struggle between two conflicting forms of interpretation. One of these has caused confusion; the other, in a silent but increasingly visible way, has brought results, and continues to bring them.”
. . .
No one can deny that in large sections of the Church, the Council's reception has been carried out in a rather different manner, without even wanting to apply to what has happened the description that the great doctor of the Church, saint Basil, gave of the Church's situation after the Council of Nicaea: he compared it to a naval battle in the darkness of a storm, saying among other things: “Harsh rises the cry of the combatants encountering one another in dispute; already all the Church is almost full of the inarticulate screams, the unintelligible noises, rising from the ceaseless agitations that divert the right rule of the doctrine of true religion” (De Spiritu Sancto, XXX). It is not a dramatic description such as this that we would want to apply to the post-Council situation, but some of what has happened does reflect itself in it. The question arises: Why has the reception of the Council been so difficult for such a great portion of the Church up until now?
. . .
On one hand, there is an interpretation that I would like to call “hermeneutics of discontinuity and rupture”. It was frequently able to find favour among mass media, and also a certain sector of modern theology.
. . .
Hermeneutics of discontinuity risk leading to a fracture between the pre-Council and post-Council Church. It asserts that the Council texts as such would still not be the true expression of the spirit of the Council.
So that's what it is called - “hermeneutics of discontinuity and rupture”-a quite appropriate and accurate term, yes?

More here.

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