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12/09/2007 18.09
 
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REGENSBURG - ONE YEAR LATER

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Translated From Avvenire today:

One year since Benedict XVI called for laying down weapons of violence used in the name of faith, has the attitude of the Muslim world changed? Or do fundamentalist impulses still dominate? Two experts in Muslim affairs raise questions on the consequences so far of the Pope's Regensburg lecture.

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ISLAM AFTER REGENSBURG


An invitation to widen
the scope of reason

By Samir Khalil, SJ


Egyptian-born Samir Khalil is a Jesuit and recognized expert on the Muslim world. He teaches Islamic sciences at Beirut's St. Joseph University and holds courses in various European universities.

One year ago, the Regensburg lecture was hastily labelled anti-Muslim. What traces remain today in the Islamic world from the polemics unleashed last year?

Benedict XVI's words were really an invitation to 'widen the scope of reason' addressed to everyone, the West above all. The word reason is mentioned 46 times in the lecture. But at the time, it was very convenient for many to isolate the Pope's reference to the dialog between the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologue and a learned Persian Muslim, in order to re-stoke the polemical fires lit by the Mohammed cartoons that came out in a Danish newspaper.


So it was really something staged rather than a culturally-based controversy?

Most of those who polemicized the most or demonstrated 'in defense of Islam' never even read the lecture, which was translated into Arabic only after several weeks, but they acted on the basis of the 'provocative' reporting by Western news agencies.

It was very convenient for the agitators (and to Muslim states who wished to distract popular attention from their internal social and political problems) to raise the specter of an anti-Muslim Pope. But with the passage of time, the Pope's words in Regensburg have left their mark.


In what way?

The more enlightened Muslim intellectuals have faced the fact that the use of violence in the name if God is a real problem, and not just a rhetorical blow from the Pope.

More generally, there are increasingly more Muslims who reject a literal traditionalist interpretation of the Koran, in favor of an approach that is in the context of how people live today.

They are saying - "God did not give us the Koran to place us outside our time. We should re-read the sacred texts and place them in the context of reality, of our present-day culture, evaluate them against the problems of contemporary life. This requires the use of reason in looking at sacred texts, and more generally, calls for a relationship between faith and reason such as the Pope evoked in Regensburg."


Is this new consciousness limited only to some intellectuals or does it also affect the ordinary people?

In recent years, the phenomenon of fatwa has exploded - these are
juridical responses given by Muslim 'sages' who concern themselves with the most minute aspects of day-to-day life: they decide what is the Islamically correct way of eating, bathing, dressing, having sexual intercourse. These religious authorities determine 'proper' behavior of the faithful, basing themselves on traditions from the early centuries of Islam which they apply mechanically to contemporary conditions.

In this way, they decide, on the basis of a literal reading of sacred texts, what is allowed and what is not. But many Muslims are against this, in the name of common sense and reason. They have not read the Regensburg lecture, but the situation just illustrates all of its validity - that not to act according to reason is contrary to the nature of God.


Can the West do anything to favor this process? Or is it better for it to keep out of something which is a dynamic totally internal to the Muslim world?

The West is everywhere in the Muslim world. Globalization has brought to that world the culture, the mentality, the music, the films of the West, to millions of homes, and the filters placed by government authorities can do little to prevent this. The Internet and TV itself overcome these barriers.

Besides, the technological superiority of the West is evident, from electric razors to cars to computers. Then, there's immigration, which has brought millions of Muslims to Europe. The overwhelming majority of these immigrants are doing much better abroad than they ever did at home. They may have some complaints, but undoubtedly, they all have a better quality of life, in freedom and democracy.

Very few come back to their native countries`- obviously, they prefer living in the West. They are slowly metabolizing Western culture, despite its numerous and undeniable faults, including anti-religious trends.


Which are also directed against Christians...

Relativism, materialism, consumerism, hedonism are all problems for those who belong to the Western tradition, which is identified with Christianity. Most of the imams point to these ideologies as the fruits of Western culture. Therefore, they teach, Muslims must totally reject everything in Western culture because it leads to atheism.

Catholics can give witness, through their own life, that all this represents a challenge but not an obstacle to living one's faith, and that there is no conflict between faith and modernity. That modernity is not an enemy but a reality that one must be able to confront, that one can and must discern by using reason what one needs to do.

That is the great contribution that Catholics can offer Muslims so that the latter do not remain imprisoned by the attitude that everything outside Muslim tradition is a potential enemy.


What can be the basis for a Muslim-Christian dialog that goes beyond 'religious diplomacy' or a discussion of values?

What characterizes the human being from all other living creatures is reason and the freedom that this allows. This is the basic element for any encounter and confrontation.

The Regensburg lecture reminds us of two great inherent risks in this respect: reason crushed by religion (the fundamentalist temptation), or the absolutization of reason which rejects faith as un-influential, which is the prevailing attitude in the West.

Dialog can take place about shared values, like human rights, provided these are established on the basis of reason. The 'wider reason' advocated by the Pope in Regensburg includes ethics and spirituality but does not pretend to be an absolute, self-referential measure.


Do you think this exhortation to widen the scope of reason has been understood in the West?

The Pope questioned the prevalent thinking in the West during the last two centuries, which maintains that there is no reason beyond that which can be demonstrated, proven, experimented. But non-demonstrable realities exist that many people consider to be fundamental to their existence.

It is significant that precisely in the West which considers demonstrable reason as 'absolute', more and more people are turning to astrology, magic, witchcraft, sects and cults, and other phenomena dominated by irrationality.

Obviously, this is a challenge for the Church as well, which should be able to establish a fascination for Jesus as the fundamental reason for attracting contemporary man. Not through facile formulations or worldly shortcuts, but by giving witness that following Jesus makes us fully human. And this is what Benedict XVI is continuously asking us to do.

Avvenire, 12 settembre 2007




The second essay is by Wael Farouq, a Muslim intellectual who is also Egyptian like Fr. Samir.


Ratzinger's words urged me
to reconsider the crisis in Muslim thought

By Wael Farouq


"What struck me about Pope Benedict XVI's words in Regensburg was that for him, the concept of reason is not closed in on itself, but something living, dynamic, open to experience and human reality."

Wael Farouq is a professor of Islamic Sciences at the Coptic Catholic Faculty of Sakakini in Cairo. He is one of the contributors to the book Dio salvi la ragione (May God save reason) published last month which puts together Pope Benedict's Regensburg lecture and his related homilies in Munich and Regensburg, along with essays commenting or reacting to the Regensburg lecture.

Farouq says the Regensburg lecture can be summarized in a few words: "Reason is a relationship. A relationship that is based on love for the other, without which faith cannot be fulfilled."

That is why, he says, the word Logos has two meanings: Word and Reason. "It is by following the dynamic of reason thrown wide open and placed in motion by the imposition of reality that makes us capable of a genuine dialog between cultures and religious traditions."


One year since the Regensburg lecture, do you think something has moved within the Islamic world, in the sense of an openness to reason in living the faith, or does mistrust prevail?

It is difficult to say that a single discourse, regardless of the authority who says it, could possibly change the order of things in the Islamic world. Certainly, 'my' world has changed. My way of looking at the relationship between reason and faith.

The Regensburg lecture was for me an invitation and an incentive to go to the bottom of the crisis which Islamic thought is undergoing, particularly, Arabic thinking. I discovered, to my sorrow, that the rational efforts of Arabic writers - instead of resolving the complexities of reality - became an integral part of the problem itself, because willy-nilly, they all fall into the trap of the dialectic between tradition and modernity.

This dialectic has become a sort of 'black hole' which swallows every intellectual effort and critical awareness. On the one hand, there are those who reject modernity - even while using it - to arrive at rupture, while others identify themselves with modernity so much that they see tradition and historical context as obstacles to progress [Exactly like 'progressives' in the West!]


Don't the tragic events which take place every day in the Muslim world urge more reflection on the idea of violence committed in the name of God?

Of course! In people like me. But first we must make clear that when we speak today of the relationship between Islam and reason, or Islam and violence, we have to distinguish three levels: Islam itself, its interpretation at a precise moment within a specific community, and finally, Islamic practices in everyday life.

On the first level, we will not find a single text that is against reason, but on the second level, we will find so many principles and ideas opposed to reason and even to Islam itself. The philosopher al-Kindi and later Averroes both showed very well how religious texts can be interpreted to be against both reason and faith.

But the context of the Pope's lecture does not link violence to Islam. It is an invitation to make Islam, like the other great religious traditions, a source of wisdom. He is saying that to ignore religious traditions or to reject them would constitute an attack on the capacity of reason itself.

I think that the crisis is not in Islam, but in the mechanisms of thought that preceded it and interacted with it at the moment of its birth, but which have become so widespread that they have become dominant and remained so to our day.


Is it that difficult for the average Muslim today to understand that faith not supported by reason would be easily subject to political convenience and therefore not suitable for the development of human freedom?

Illiteracy, technological backwardness, the political corruption towards which most Muslims tend - all this profoundly condition their attitude and the way they practice their religion.

However, the crisis of contemporary reason is not limited to one culture. Despite the great difference about the causes and nature of this crisis in every culture, it is a general crisis for humanity, resulting only in violence, in different forms: the cognitive violence against human life embodied in the nihilism that is dominant in the West, and the physical violence against human life embodied by extremism in the Muslim world.

Mankind needs to recover the passion for reason as something demanded by totality. Widening the scope of reason does not come only through the rightful defense of a correct idea of reason, but to show that there are people who actually live that wider reason and are the better for it.


In what ways can the Muslim world recover a unity of faith and reason? And how could the Western world help?

By recovering the popular Muslim tradition according to which "One recognizes God through reason' - a tradition that places reason above divine inspiration.

In Islamic law, it is said that 'reason precedes the sharia', because without reason, one cannot understand the law. But the problem is, as I have stated, in translating these concepts to reality.

The West helps Muslims - and itself - when it remains faithful to its own ethical and democratic principles. If the Westerners do not accept that someone can represent a community without being elected, then why do they accept this with some so-called 'leaders' in the East? The West should stop being a partner to politicians or leaders who have 'hijacked' Islam for their own ends.


Avvenire, 12 agosto 2007


[Correct me if I am wrong, but I can think of only one country that fits Farouq's specification in the last sentence: Saudi Arabia. I believe it is the only Arab or Muslim country at the moment that does not have a nationally elected government.]


====================================================================


Finally, here is Avvenire's editorial today to mark the first anniversary of the Regensburg lecture:


The Regensburg lecture
was a watershed for reason

By Giacomo Samek Lodovici


On this day one year ago, Benedict XVI delivered his lectio magistralis at the University of REgensburg.

It is not possible to fully synthesize that widel yresonant discourse (which provoked so many pretentious arguments, not always in good faith), so we will limit ourselves to noting its most important lesson for the man on the street.

The lecture brought to light the aspect of God as Reason and must be read in synergy with the encyclical Deus caritas est about God as Love.

We will simply point out that this valuation of reason has given rise to both the Christian concept of secularity (which is not secularism) and natural law (which immunizes against both theocracy and totalitarianism) - invaluable treasures which have formed for the better the lives of peoples with a Christian cultural identity.

Above all, it is important to recall that man was created in the image of God, who is Love and Reason, so man himself should put these two aspects together.

Love should be reasonable, that means, guided by reason. For instance: avoiding emotionalism, which reduces`love to sentiment (even if this is important in life as well) and makes it the only criterion for action (as in the widespread contemporary practice of pre-marital sex), or advocating forms of false love (abortion and euthanasia).

Christian faith culminates in a relationship of love but it is propitiated initially by reason. This implies having rejected the imposition of faith through force, or a critical rejection of fideism (which divorces faith from reason), as well as of rationalism and scientism (both of which divorce reason from faith).

Fideism affirms that reason can have nothing to say about God and the contents of faith; indeed, that reason is damaging to faith. But faith, if it is not rational, becomes a private fact which is no longer communicable to others and therefore risks extinguishing itself.

On the other hand, reason can help the act of faith and its exercise in two ways: it can demonstrate that God exists; it can demonstrate some aspects of the God of faith (God the Eternal, Omnipotent, Supreme Truth, Supreme Goodness, etc).

Faith also deepens our philosophical knowledge of God, but with the God of philosophers, one does not have inter-persoinal communion. Nevertheless, the rational search for God is always valuable, for the reasons given. Therefore, to ignore or neglect it is like renouncing a treasure just because it is not as big as something else.

Scientism considers God, the soul, the great philosophical questions, as irrational topics. But if it is not possible to answer the great questions of life, then good and evil become a matter of subjective arbitrary choice. That is how scientism leads to relativism and its dictatorship.

This dictatorship translates into the dictatorship of desire: no longer must man adapt himself to reality - reality must adapt itself to man, conform to his wishes and desires.

Rationalism rejects anything which is not rationally recognizable. But this is an error of presumptuous reason, which forgets that it is finite and can therefore not know everything. At the same time, it becomes self-limiting. If man cannot rationally examine the essential realities of his life - his origins and his destiny, his moral duty and what is licit, life and death - but must consign these decisive problems to a realm outside reason, then it deprives him of his honor.

Avvenire, 12 agosto 2007


Fr. Samir speaks to Vatican Radio


Here is a translation of an interview with Fr. Samir by Sergio Centofanti of Vatican Radio today:

Fr. Samir: The Regensburg lecture was received with great hostility in the Muslim world even if practically no one had read it, and they only knew what the international media reported. The media sought to politicize the lecture, which was not directed to Muslims at all.

It was meant primarily for the West and it said: If the West continues to think that reason has nothing to do with faith, with ethics, with values, with sprituality, then culture becomes emptied of the essential.

With this limited vision of reason, the West has distanced itself enormously from the rest of the world, with the Muslims, with Africans, with Asians. Because in all the cultures of the world, reason is linked to values and spirituality.

The Muslim world's critique of the West is this: "You are really a subculture, you are a civilization which is technically more evolved, more perfect, more scientifically developed, but morally weaker and more corrupt." This is what they say day after day. Why? Because they see that Western society has been detached from values.

In Regensburg, the Pope says it is necessary to widen the concept of reason if the West wants to dialog with the rest of the world. If Western society presumes to be a model for other peoples - because in a certain sense it is - it should recover its spiritual roots, otherwise there will be a clash of civilizations.

If the West, on the one hand, does not enlarge its concept of rationality to integrate spirituality, ethics and values, and if on the other hand, the Mulsim world and other civilizations do not integrate rationality into their own values and in their faith, then the clash will be even more stark.

That is what the Pope's Regensburg lecture aims to promote: a rational dialog among religions and cultures.


Could we say that, after a moment of crisis - the Regensburg lecture did re-launch dialog between Christians and Muslims?

I think Yes. In preceding Church documents, the insistence on dialog was remarkable. And someone has claimed that Ratzinger caused a step backward. I think not. We should actually acknowledge that we have now refined the idea of dialog.

What do I mean by this? In the past, it was necessary to say, "We are close to each other so we can talk." No one can omit this, nor diminish it.

But it lacked the next dimension: "Yes, we have much in common, but we also have differences that we should overcome." That is what Ratzinger contributed. And I say Ratzinger beause he gave that lecture not as Pope but as Prof. Ratzinger.

It is not enough to say, "We are brothers," although that is certainly fundamental, but then comes a time when one must say "we are different brothers." That is the central idea of the Rengensburg lecture: a dialog in truth and love.



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12/09/2007 20.45
 
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THE RUN-UP TO FRIDAY AND FULL RESTORATION OF THE TRAD-MASS

Il Tempo today has an interview conducted by Giuseppe De Carli, RAI's Vatican anchorman and commentator, with Mons. Rino Fisichella, rector of the Pontifical Lateran University and auxiliary Bishop of Rome. Here is a translation.



'This is a step ahead'
By GIUSEPPE DE CARLI


Two days from now, on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the Roman liturgy will have two forms (usus): the 'ordinary' form decered by Paul VI in 1970, and the 'estr4arodinary' form celebrated according to John XXIII's Missal of 1962.

In effect, it is a 're-introduction' of the Tridentine Mass according to the 15th-century Missal of St. Pius V. Pope Benedict XVI decreed this with his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum last July.

What reception will the Latin Mass in a pre-Conciliar rite receive from Catholics? Mons. Rino Fischella does not see any upset or negative reactions.


Monsignor Fisichella, what are the essential differences between the two forms?

There are some new things with respect to practical matters. Before this, it was up to tbe local bishop whether to allow priests to celebrate, in perticular Churches, the traditional Mass which was never abrogated. This time, a group of faithful who want the Mass celebrated in the 'extraordinary' form can request this directly from their parish priest who must accommodate such requests. [He ended up not answering the question!]


There's still the question of the prayer «Pro Judaeis» which asks for the conversion of Jews.

That was a Good Friday prayer in the old Missal, which liturgy[according to the Pope's Motu Proprio] cannot be used during the Paschal Triduum. On the other hand, the Canon now includes very beautiful and significant statements recalling "Abel the just" and "the sacrifice of Abraham, our father in the faith" - the father of the three monotheistic religions.


So Catholic priests will stop praying for the conversion of Jews?

CAtholic priests will continue praying in a way that takes account of how sensibilities have changed. But I must point out that in the Good Friday prayers as they were, there was absolutely nothing offensive against our brother Jews. It was a matter of mistranslating the Latin word used ['perfidia' which means 'not having faith', and not treason in the sense that the cognate 'perfidy' connotes], which should be understood in its correct historical and inter-religious context,


It seems like the liturgical edifice is back on its feet in full splendor. What do you think is behind this recovery?

There could be three. Benedict XVI's great passion for liturgy and its most profound sense. We just saw that again while he was in Austria. Joseph Ratzinger is one of the most incisive scholars of the roots and history of liturgy.

At the same time, the Pope also wanted to particularly address the concerns of all those who, in the past four decades, have been wanting to attend the traditional Mass rite.

Finally, the Pope is holding out a hand to the Lefebvrian community.


So we should not have any cause to fear? Benedict XVI is not turning back the clock? All this is not a rejection of Vatican-II?

Absolutely not. There is no stepping back from Vatican-II; rather, it should be considered a step forward. The very first constitution approved by the Second Vatican Council was Sacrosanctum Concilium regarding the liturgy.


But there have been so many abuses...

Look, I would say that the abuses have been for the most part marginal. And that the Church can always step in to stop these abuses. But the basic interpretation of Sacrosanctum Concilium has been more problematic.

The Council had no intention of abolishing any rite, it wanted the Church to be able to express the beauty of the liturgy, and therefore, allow the faithful to pray in the best way possible.

If a part of the faithful feel they are better able to do this with the traditional Mass, then I do not see why another Missal should be forced on them.


Paul VI himself personally gave Padre Pio an indult to continue celebrating Mass in the traditional manner.

It is just one of those cases which confirm that the traditional Mass is not at all a betrayal of the Council, but rather loyalty to an uninterrupted tradition. The Pope and the bishops of the Church only want to help the faithful pray in the way they feel they are best able to express thesmelves.


Will you be celebrating the Tridentine Mass?

Gladly, given the occasion. My first prayers as a child started with the Mass in Latin. I started serving Mass at age seven. I grew up in the Latin rite, and those prayers are branded into my memory.

Il Tempo, 12 settembre 2007


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13/09/2007 00.09
 
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IT ALWAYS HELPS TO RE-STATE HOME TRUTHS


Catholic Church says same things
as it always has, and
the Pope is still Catholic -
and millions are shocked!

By Mark Shea
National Catholic Register
September 16-22, 2007 Issue



Oh my stars and garters! It turns out that, not only did the Church say a perfectly valid Mass from the time of the Reformation till now, but on top of that, the Pope is still Catholic.

That was the astonished discovery of the delightfully ignorant mainstream media when, in a shocking move, Pope Benedict XVI let the cleansing daylight of truth throw light on the minds of people who have somehow gotten it into their heads that there are two Churches, pre-Vatican II and post-Vatican II.

Pope Benedict issued a motu proprio on July 7 that reaffirmed that the Mass that was said for centuries before the 1970 reform of the Mass was still a good thing, and that people should be able to celebrate it if they like.

It would appear that this was horrifying enough to professionally aggrieved people, such as this poor man profiled in the Washington Post:

“I can’t fight back the tears. This is the saddest moment in my life as a man, priest and bishop,” Luca Brandolini, a member of the liturgy commission of the Italian bishops’ conference, told Rome daily La Repubblica in an interview July 8.

“It’s a day of mourning, not just for me but for the many people who worked for the Second Vatican Council. A reform for which many people worked, with great sacrifice and only inspired by the desire to renew the Church, has now been cancelled.”

I missed the memo announcing the cancellation of Vatican II!

Indeed, I could have sworn that the Pope was making a generous gesture to folks who just want to celebrate the Mass that was celebrated every day the council was being held.

I got the impression somehow that these people are, like, part of the Church too.

Yet, somehow, some panicky folks have the notion that if you worship God in Latin rather than the vernacular, you are destroying the Church.

How fragile we are! It’s not enough that the Paul VI Mass is celebrated in about 99.9% of the world. This small gesture of kindness to people who like the John XXIII rite spells the doom of the council and quite possibly of the Church.

There’s a jittery totalitarianism behind such sentiments, the restless, sleepless fear that not everybody everywhere is “just like me.”

And there was more trauma to come. For on July 10, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released a document informing us that, as a matter of fact, St. Paul wasn’t kidding when he said, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:4-6).

What did the document say? Basically, it said, again, what the Church has always said: that the fullness of the revelation Christ handed down subsists in the Catholic Church. In short, the Church believes about itself what it has always believed: that it is the Church Christ founded and that other Christian bodies are right insofar as they participate in that fact and wrong when they don’t.

Of course, what the mainstream media reported was junk like “Vatican: Protestants Not True Christians” (CNN). In fact, what the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said was that Protestant congregations are not true churches but ecclesial bodies.

What Rome means is, “Where there’s no valid Eucharist, there’s no Church,” because the Eucharist is what makes the Church the Church.

What Rome does not mean is “Protestants aren’t Christian. God hates Protestants. Protestants are all going to hell. Only the Catholic Church is a true Church.”

The reality is that Protestants are in real, but imperfect, communion with the Church. That’s because “we believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.” If you are validly baptized, you are Christian even if you aren’t Catholic. And, by the way, the Church does recognize non-Catholic bodies as true Churches. (Think Orthodox, for instance.)

It’s all about the Eucharist, baby. If you’ve got a valid one, you’re a Church. If you don’t, but you still adhere to the basics of the Creed, you’re an ecclesial body.

None of this stuff is news to anybody familiar with actual Catholic teaching. It’s neither a “cancellation” of Vatican II nor a “retreat from ecumenism.” It’s a precise restatement of Vatican II and of Dominus Iesus.

But it’s shockingly new to the majority of Catholics and to most of the rest of the world.

Which is why the Church had to point it out — again.


Mark Shea is content editor at CatholicExchange.com and a leading Catholic blogger.
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13/09/2007 13.02
 
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You must be desperate for material if you have to include columns by Mark Shea.
13/09/2007 14.12
 
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Austrian Jews ask Pope
for help on Iran

By VERONIKA OLEKSYN


VIENNA, Austria. Sept. 12 (AP) - Two prominent Austrian Jewish leaders urged Pope Benedict XVI to use his moral authority to stop Iran from developing the ability to produce nuclear weapons and prevent a "catastrophe for all of humanity," according to a letter released Wednesday.

The letter, which the pope received during a three-day visit to Austria last week, was written in consultation with other Jewish communities in Europe, said Ariel Muzicant, the head of Vienna's Jewish Community. He co-signed the letter with Vienna's chief rabbi, Paul Chaim Eisenberg.

Iran insists its nuclear program is only for energy, but the United States and its Western allies fear it is a cover for making weapons. Israel sees Iran, whose president has repeatedly called for Israel's destruction, as a threat to its existence.

The letter said Jews were greatly concerned that more than 60 years after the Holocaust, Iran was "officially threatening the state of Israel with 'destruction and obliteration.'"

It goes on to ask the pope, referred to as one of the world's most important moral authorities, to do everything in his power to prevent a "possible catastrophe for all of humanity."

Muzicant declined to specify what he'd like the pope to do but said time was running out.

"This catastrophe is for us the possibility that within the next 12 months Iran will go nuclear — acquires the ability to produce nuclear material, to the point of nuclear bombs," he said.

Muzicant said Europeans "held the key" to resolving the conflict and urged them to do more, in particular by putting economic pressure on Iran.

Some European companies, including Austrian energy giant OMV, have been criticized by the United States for pursuing business deals with Iran.

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13/09/2007 17.41
 
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SPEAKING UP FOR THE POPE AND THE MASS MP

Here's a translation in which I have combined the information provided by Apcom and PETRUS about an editorial in La Civilta Cattolica:

Tomorrow, the Pope's Motu Proprio liberalizing the use of the pre-Conciliar Mass. In its current issue, the Jesuit magazine La Civilta Cattolica carries an editorial which reviews and defends the provisions of the MP, while it seeks to clear up any equivocations about interpreting the document.

The Pope's decision, the magazine says, is a historical fact which cannot be ignored "either by scholars who are concerned with the path of liturgical reform nor by the priests and the simple faithful who are concerned with the truth.'

The editorial notes that the many media speculations that preceded the MP militated against a correct understanding of the text, "predisposing some to joyous acceptance, and others to hard opposition." Both attitudes, it points out, are the result of prejudices held before having read the document.

"The Missale Romanum as revised by Paul VI in 1970 remains the ordinary form," the editorial stresses, "while the 1962 Missal of John XXIII may be used as an extraordinary form by faithful who are still linked to the traditional Mass and who request it.'

It also underscores the assurances made by the Pope to 'his brothers in the episcopate on the unfounded fears that the decree may raise."

Underscoring that the MP says the celebration of the traditional Mass may be requested by a group of faithful, the editorial refers to the Latin adverb 'continenter' [in most unofficial English translations, the word 'stable' is used], and comments: "The precision expressed by the adverb excludes that a request for the old rite comes simply out of curiosity for something different, a search for religious 'folklore', or, as the Pope's letter says, 'by social aspects linked to the attitudes of the faithful."

The editorial points out that the Pope himself, in the accompanying letter, 'does not conceal...opposing sentiments' which preceded the publication of the MP, about which "in fact, the actual contents were not known."

"Now that we know what it contains," the editorial continues, "we welcome it 'in a spirit of gratitude and trust', certain that the spirit of liturgy sought by everyone will succeed in bringing together views that are currently wide apart."

===================================================================

THEN THERE ARE THE BLINDLY IDEOLOGICAL OPPONENTS

On the eve of the effectivity of the Holy Father's Motu Proprio restoring the traditional Mass to 'full' status as a Roman rite in the whole Church, at least two Italian MSM newspapers had tendentiously negative stories today.

Il Messaggero claims that "except for a tiny group of fans, the Pope's decree does not appear to be meeting with any success" and La Repubblica alleges 'a silent air of revolt' surrounding the MP, citing the 4 dissident Italian bishops who have been anything but silent about their defiance and intent to disobey the Pope's MP.

It is, of course, a willfully fallacious look at the MP, which does not impose anything on anyone but simply allows the faithful a choice of rite to follow.

Yet the liberal media choose to see it as a competition with Paul VI's Mass - which remains the 'ordinary' form of the rite, as opposed to the 'extraordinary' form that the traditional Mass is
(in every sense of the word, one might add).

That sanctimonious, clearly wrong-minded prelates behave as they do and that breast-beating liberals object to a literal act of liberalization demonstrate the pathetic dictatorship of ideology that blinds even supposedly intelligent persons to their blatant dishonesty.

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13/09/2007 20.01
 
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'CELEBRATING THE EUCHARIST SHOULD NEVER BE A SUBJECT OF DISCORD':
CARDINAL CASTRILLON WILL CELEBRATE HIGH MASS IN LORETO

There's no word of how Pope Benedict XVI himself will mark the effectivity starting tomorrow of his Motu Proprio on the Mass. But the Sanctuary of the Holy House in Loreto has made known it will mark the day tomorrow with a Pontifical High Mass, followed by a Te Deum, celebrated by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei:

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Here is a translation of an interview by Vatican Radio's Giovanni Peduto with Cardinal Castrillon. Under the MP, Ecclesia Dei, the cardinal's commission, will resolve any disputes that may arise at diocesan level on its implementation.


Cardinal Castrillon: I would point out that John Paul II had already tried to give followers of the traditional Mass the opportunity to attend a rite which was closer to their sensibility. These followers include those who belong to the Lefebvre movement, as well as those among them who have since re-entered into full communion with Rome.

The Holy Father, Benedict XVI, took part from the very beginning in all the Vatican actions regarding the Lefebvrians and knows what problems they have with the 1970 liturgical reform. The Holy
Father has a special love for liturgy, which he has translated into much liturgical study in depth.

That is why he places inestimable value on the liturgy that the Church celebrated before the 1970 reform. Still, the Pope is not taking a step back from that reform. He has made clear and underscores that Vatican-II never abrogated nor prohibited the older rite. The Council intended to give more freedom to the faithful. One of these is to take the treasure that liturgy represents and keep it alive.


What are the actual changes with this Motu Proprio?

Not very much, really. The principal thing is that priests can decide to celebrate the traditional Mass on their own, without requiring permission from the Pope or the bishop.

And parish priests should open their Church to any qualified priest to celebrate the Mass. No other permission is needed.


Eminence, this document has been greeted by some with objections and fears. What is true about what they have alleged so far?

First, it is not true that the MP takes away from bishops their power over the liturgy. The Canon code states who can give the permission to say Mass, and it is not the bishop. When every priest is allowed to celebrated the traditional Mass, as this MP does, then the parish priest and his assistants must provide the altar at which this Mass is offered. If anyone prevents them from doing this, then Ecclesia Dei will take measures, in teh name of the Holy Father, to make sure that the priest's right - and that of the faithful he serves - is respected.


What are your own wishes on the eve of this change?

The Eucharist is the greatest thing we have, the manifestation of the greatest of all loves, the redeeming love of God who accompanies us in his Eucharistic presence. The Eucharist and its celebration should never be the subject of discord - only of love.

So I wish that this will give joy to all those who love tradition, to all the parishes who will no longer be 'divided' - but will provide the faithful with more spiritual opportunities through a rite that has been a factor and an instrument of sanctification for so many in the course of centuries. We must thank the Holy Father for having recovered this treasure for the Church.

Nothing is imposed on anyone. The Pope has not made this an obligation, only a possibility for the faithful who want it. If there should be a conflict in its implementation, then teh bishop, as the MP provides, should intervene to avoid such conflict without overriding the authority that the Pope has over the whole Church.



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Here is a translation of an item about the Loreto Mass from PETRUS:


Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, president of the pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei will celebrate a Solemn Pontifical Mass according to the re-conciliar rite on September 14 at the basilica of the Holy House in Loreto.

The Mass was requested by the regional chapter of Una Voce, an association dedicated to 'the protection and promotion of the Mass in Latin, Gregorian chant and sacred art in the Roman Catholic Church'.

Participating in the Mass will be the Choir of the Basilica, under Fr. Giuliano Viabile, and the Rossini Chamber Choir of Pesaro, under Somone Baiocchi, who also composed the music for the Te Deum that will be offered after the Mass.

Leading the guests will be the dean of the diplomatic corps to the Holy Se, as well as the Russian ambassador Nikolay Sadchikov and the Russian consul. Also in attendance will be members of the Equestrian Orders associated with the Holy See; representatives of the various Catholic confraternities in the Marche region; and students of the Marche who took part in the recent Agora and who will be offering a candle to the Madonna of Loreto at the end of the Mass.



But this report, translated from PETRUS, is probably the headline of the day:

CASTRILLON REPLIES TO TETTAMANZI:
NO BISHOP IS ABOVE THE POPE

By Angela Ambrogetti

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VATICAN CITY - "No bishop can prevent a parish priest and a group of faithful from celebrating Holy Mass with the Missal of 1962, because no bishop is above the Pope," Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos told PETRUS today, commenting on the decision of Cardinal Dionigio Tettamanzi, Archbishop of Milan, to discourage, if not prohibit outright, the application of Summorum Pontificum to his archdiocese.

Since Ambrogetti does not give it, I must insert the following background to Tettamanzi's decision from Il Giornale today:

Tettamanzi announced Tuesday that the Motu Proprio does not apply to the Ambrosian rite, which is used predominantly in the Archdiocese of Milan. Tettamanzi's interpretation respects the letter of the MP (which does not mention the Ambrosian rite at all) but is seen as a manifest distancing from Pope Benedict's liberalizing decree.

Because for the parishes in Tettamanzi's jurisdiction who currently ruse the Roman rite, the diocese has preemptively informed them that the MP does not apply to them because "there are no stable groups of faithful towards whom any gestures of reconciliation are necessary."

It must be recalled that Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, who was Archbishop of Milan for 20 years before Tettamanzi, declared last July that he himself would not think of celebrating the traditional Mass any more, because it recalled "that sense of being closed in that emanated from the kind of Christian living that was then practised." And yet, Martini in 1988, as Archbishop of Milan, had allowed a parish to celebrate the Ambrosian rite in the traditional manner.]

"This is not about a choice for the bishops," Castrillon said. "The Pope has invited them to join him, and it would be good for everyone to accept. The choice is for the faithful, who can request their parish priests for the traditional Mass, and the bishops only step in to try and resolve any disputes at their level."

Castrillon re-affirmed: "There is no turning back here. Rather, it must be seen as realizing one of the intentions of Vatican-II - that we should not lose the richness of a thousand years of tradition, and no one should think that any Mass that is not celebrated according to the Novus Ordo is wrong or not valid. The Holy Father's gesture increases freedom within the Church - it does not restrict anyone."

Therefore, Castrillon said, "No one is being told to attend the traditional Mass unless they want to. Everything will be as it was in the parishes, with respect to the Mass according to the Novus Ordo. There will be traditional Masses only in parishes where it has been duly requested by interested persons and where there is a priest who is qualified to celebrate it."

These Masses will, of course, be open to everyone as well, and Castrillon said this offers a possibility for others to experience the traditional Mass and learn about it.

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14/09/2007 07.55
 
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Pontiff and Patriarch
to Meet in Naples


This was previously reported in the story posted here two weeks ago about the Pope's sechdule in Naples. But ZENIT is reporting it again as news without adding any new information.


VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 13, 2007 (Zenit.org).- When Benedict XVI travels to Naples next month to participate in the interreligious prayer meeting for peace, he will meet with Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople.

The Pope will be in Naples for a day trip Oct. 21, which coincides with the opening of the 21st International Encounter of Peoples and Religions. The meeting, organized by the Community of Sant'Egidio and the Archdiocese of Naples, has the theme, "Toward a World Without Violence: Religions and Cultures in Dialogue."

Bartholomew I told the Apcom news agency: "I will be in Naples for four days and will take part in Benedict XVI's celebration and the interreligious prayer service."

The international encounters were inspired by the World Day of Prayer for Peace convened by Pope John Paul II in Assisi in October 1986.

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14/09/2007 12.55
 
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THE FULL EDITORIAL IN 'LA CIVILTA CATTOLICA'

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ZENIT's Italian service published the full text of the editorial from La Civilta Cattolica, which provides a necessary review of what the Motu Proprio provides, as well as the Holy Father's extraordinary accompanying letter addressed to his 'brother bishops', some of whom have kept their hearts 'closed' and preferred to ignore it. Here is a translation:



LITURGY IN THE WAKE OF TRADITION

July 7, 2007 has already passed into history as a date which cannot be ignored either by scholars concerned with liturgical reform, nor by priests and the simple faithful concerned with truth in liturgical celebrations.

With a new document on "the use of the Roman liturgy before the reform of 1970" made public that day, Benedict XVI put an end to news reports which, although uncertain, had been circulating for some time, predisposing some to 'a joyous acceptance' and others to 'a hard opposition'.

The Pope himself does not overlook these opposing sentiments to 'a plan whose contents nobody really knew'. Now we know, and welcome it 'in a spirit of gratitude and trust', certain that the spirit of liturgy sought by all will succeed in unifying positions that for now remain quite apart.

Before examining the contents of the document that Pope Benedict presented as "the fruit of long reflections, multiple consultations and prayers", in order to frame them in the correct light, we should look at the accompanying letter, from which we took the previous quotations.

In it, the Bishop of Rome, speaking with his heart in hand, one might say, to his 'brothers in the episcopate', examines the two 'fears' that were posed directly against the publication of the document, and gives a detailed response to them.

The first reservation was that "the authority of the Second Vatican Council would be eroded and that one of its essential decisions - liturgical reform - would be placed in doubt."

To underscore the lack of foundation for such a fear, the Pontiff makes an important distinction, stating that Paul VI's Missal "is and remains the normal form - the ordinary form - of the Eucharistic liturgy", whereas "the last edition of the Roman Missal, before the Council, which was published by Pope John XXIII in 1962 and used during the Council, can be used as an extraordinary form of the liturgical celebration."

Then the Pontiff dwells on the merits of the 1962 Missal. He points out that "this Missal was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, as a matter of principle, always remained permitted."

He recalls that not a few people have remained "strongly bound to the use of this Roman rite which was familiar to them from their infancy", especially "in those countries where the liturgical movement had given many persons considerable liturgical training."

Among them, he mentions in particular those who, while accepting Vatican II, "nevertheless still desire to recover the form of the sacred liturgy that is dear to them." He recognizes that in them, 'loyalty to the old Missal' is often an understandable reaction to "the deformations of the liturgy to the limits of what is bearable."

After evoking these unfortunate 'arbitrary deformations of liturgy', Benedict XVI recalls how his predecessor John Paul II intervened on two occasions. Already in 1984, he offered diocesan bishops, in the letter Quattuor abhinc annos from the Congregation for Divine Worship (cfr AAS 76 [1984] 1.088 s), the possibility of granting an indult to celebrate the 1962 Missal to priests who request it.

Later, with the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei (cfr ivi, 80 [1988] 1.495-1.498) of July 2, 1988, he instituted a specific Commission, composed of a presiding cardinal and other members of the Roman Curia, for the purpose of facilitating the full communion with Rome of all those who felt bound to the 1962 Missal.

Now, the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum proposes to update and regulate what the two preceding decrees had started, among other things, "to free bishops from having to evaluate anew all the time how to respond to different situations."

The second 'fear' was that "a wider possibility of using the 1962 Missal would lead to disorder or even a rupture within the parochial community."

But this is a fear without a realistic basis. In fact, the conditions required for using the 1962 Missal - namely, "a certain degree of liturgical training and access to the Latin language' - insure that the number of faithful who will be using the old Missal will always remain tiny compared to those will continue using the new Missal.

After having reassured the addressees of the letter, namely, the bishops, that their fears were unfounded, Benedict XVI points to a possible reciprocal enrichment between 'the two forms of the Roman rite', in which one cannot ignore the other.

While the old Missal can and should receive from the new - besides the insertion of new saints and some new prefaces - appropriate stimuli to raise 'practical possibilities' for rubrical arrangements, then, on the other hand, the use of the new Missal, "could show, in a stronger way than it has so far, the sacredness that attracts many to the old rite."

In concluding the accompanying letter, the Pontiff states that the positive reason which "has motivated updating the Motu Proprio of 1988" is the desire 'to reach an internal reconciliation within the church."

Citing a Pauline text and adopting the Apostle's frankness in comparing his 'open heart' to the 'narrow hearts' of the Corinthians (cfr 2 Cor 6,11-13), the Pope invites everyone to open their hearts generously to the conviction that even liturgy must grow and progress, as well as to the perception of the sacredness that liturgy cannot do without.

The message is clear: if on one side, "celebration of the Mass according to the new missal cannot be excluded in principle," then on the other side, there should be a concern "for preserving the riches that have grown in the faith and in prayer, and give them their proper place."

Well aware of the liturgical-pastoral consequences that his personal intervention could have, the Pontiff addresses the bishops thus: "In conclusion, I feel I must underscore than these new norms do not in any way diminish your authority and responsibility, neither for liturgy nor in the pastoral care of the faithful...Moreover, I invite you ... to write the Holy See an account of your experiences three years after this Motu Proprio goes into effect. If some serious difficulties come to light, then we can try to find ways to remedy them."

While the accompanying letter, thanks to the plain and transparent style with which the Pontiff communicates his concerns as Supreme pastor, is immediately understandable, the juridical part of the document itself requires an attentive analysis of the text, which should be read in detail, if possible in the original Latin.

The first part of the document takes off from the well-known patristic axiom on the relationship between lex orandi and lex credendi. Read in its original context and in the formulation of Prosper of Aquitaine (deceased 455) regarding the need for grace, the axiom says: "...in order that the norm of prayer determines the norm of the faith" (Denz.-Schönm. 246).

But in the Motu Proprio, on the basis of a citation from the Institutio generalis Missalis Romani, which is also cited in the instruction Varietates legitimæ (cfr AAS 87 [1995] 298 s), the axiom is reversed.

We read: "From time immemorial, as it will be in the future, it must be observed that the principle according to which 'every particular Church should accord with the universal Church' not only with the doctrine of the faith and its sacramental signs, but even in the universally accepted practices of the uninterrupted apostolic tradition - should be observed not only to avoid errors, but also to transmit the integrity of the faith - so that the lex orandi of the Church corresponds to its lex credendi" (Missale Romanum 2002, Institutio generalis, n. 397).

The reversal here is legitimate, both because it is found in Pius XII's encyclical Mediator Dei(cfr AAS 39 [1947] 541), and because there is perfect synchrony and syntony between the two laws that govern the depositum fidei, and one cannot contradict the other.

In the document, the Pontiff proceeds by referring to some of his predecessors who have been particularly linked to the history and development of the Roman Missals: St. Gregory the Great(† 604), who did wonders to enrich the liturgy; St. Pius V † 1572), who promoted the publication of liturgical books, principally the Missal edited ad normam Patrum, according to the norms of the Fathers; Clement VIII († 1605) and Urban VIII († 1644), who were responsible for important revisions; St. Pius X († 1914), who committed himself to clean out the liturgical edifice of 'the squalor of age'(AAS 5 [1913] 449 s); Benedict XV († 1922), who published the revision by his predecessor; Pius XII († 1958), who renewed the liturgy for Easter Vigil and Holy Week; Blessed John XXIII († 1963), who had the privilege of updating the last edition of the Tridentine Missal; Paolo VI († 1978), who personally followed the reform of the Missal as well as the other liturgical books intended by the Council; and finally, John Paul II who issued the third typical edition of the post-Conciliar Mass.

After this succession of worthy Pontiffs and a brief acknowledgment of the problems raised by those 'not a few' faithful who have remained bound to the old Missal, while recalling the interventions of his immediate predecessor in their favor, Benedict XVI presents the new normative in a series of 12 articles. We can summarize them as follows:

There are two forms of the Roman rite; the 'ordinary form' (ordinario expressio) with the Missals of 1970-2003 and the 'extraordinary form' (extraordinaria expressio) with the 1962 Missal (art. 2).

The specification that "the priest does not need any permission, neither from the Apostolic See nor from his ordinary" is a real change from the normative issued in 1984.

Then, it took the form of an 'indult', namely a concession - an 'indulgent' dispensation from the norm - granted by the diocesan bishop to individual priests and their respective faithful
who acknowledge the legitimacy and doctrinal propriety of Paul VI's Missal. That which was 'conceded' then is now the norm.

However, the use of the 1962 Missal is not allowed for the Paschal Triduum, because in those days, the liturgy to be celebrated
«cum fidelium frequentia» (Missale Romanum 2002, p. 298, sub 3), should be uniform in the whole Church.

Any faithful who request it spontaneously may be admitted to any celebration of the pre-1970 rite (art. 4). Likewise, the 1962 Missal may be celebrated in conventual Masses by all communities of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and of the Societies of Apostolic Life (art. 3).

In parishes where there exists 'stably'(continenter) a group of faithful preferring the older liturgical tradition, the parish priest is called on to allow 'qualified' priests to say one Mass according to the 1962 Missal on Sundays and religious holidays.

Thee is no limitation for Masses on weekdays, nor for the performance of marriages, funerals or pilgrimages according to the 192 Missal (art. 5).

The specification expressed in the adverb 'continenter' excludes that the use of the 'ritus antiquior' may be occasioned by curiosity for something different, by a search for religious folklore, and - as the accompanying letter shows - by 'social aspects linked to the attitude of the faithful'.

The provision «idonei esse debent» implies that priests qualified to say the old Mass should have a sufficient familiarity with the «Ritus servandus in celebratione Missae» and similarly, with the rituals of other sacraments.

If the 1962 Missal is used in Masses with the participation of the faithful (i.e., not private masses by the priest), the readings may be done in the vernacular, using the approved lectionaries (art. 6).

Those who, having requested the 1962 rite from their parish priest, fail to get it, may resort to their diocesan bishop, who is called on to allow their request, and if they are unable to do so, they should inform the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei which will provide guidance and assistance (art. 7-8).

The Motu Proprio also gives discretion to use the older rite a) to the parish priest, for Baptism, Confession, Matrimony and Extreme Unction; b) to the bishop, for Confirmation; and c) to ordained priests, to use the Breviary of 1962 (art. 9).

From the fact that nothing is said about the sacrament of Holy Orders, it must be assumed that the only rite for ordination remains that of the reformed liturgy.

For the good of the faithful who prefer the 1962 Missal, the diocesan bishop may allow the establishment of a personal parish (art. 10).

Finally, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, reconfirmed in its functions, is charged with supervising the observance and application of the provisions of the Motu Proprio (art. 11 and 12).

The Motu Proprio concludes by saying that its provisions come into force on September 14, consequently abrogating, through the customary formula «contrariis quibuslibet rebus non obstantibus», all preceding provisions about this matter.

La Civiltà Cattolica 2007 III 455-460, no. 3774


====================================================================

CARDINAL BERTONE ASKS DISSIDENTS
TO RESPECT THOSE WHO PREFER
THE TRADITIONAL MASS



ROME, Sept. 13 (Apcom) - 'Despite all the criticisms' against the Pope's decree liberalizing the pre-1970 Mass which takes effect tomorrow, "it is necessary to understand the link between past and present in the Church," Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone told newsmen yesterday after celebrating evening Mass at the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.

The Vatican Secretary of State was responding to newsmen's questions about the opposition of some bishops to the Pope's decision.

"The present does not mean nullifying the past," he said. He noted that during the evening Mass, on the eve of the Feast of the Exaltaiton of the Cross, the congregation sang "a most beautiful Salve Regina [Hail Holy Queen] in Latin - it was a wonder!"

"Let us not forget the past, and let us respect those who want to to keep past traditions alive in their hearts and in the rites of the Church," he added.

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14/09/2007 14.24
 
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BREAKTHROUGH ON DARFUR?
It was an auspicious day for Pope Benedict's meeting with the President of Sudan, who made this important announcement today.

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Sudan president
ties cease-fire to talks

By FRANCES D'EMILIO



ROME. Sept. 14 (AP) - Sudan's president met with the Pope and Italy's premier Friday and offered to declare a cease-fire with Darfur rebels to coincide with the start of U.N.-backed peace talks next month.

Past truces have been regularly violated, and at least two rebel groups quickly dismissed his offer.

Still, after President Omar al-Bashir's meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican expressed hope the upcoming talks would end the suffering in Darfur, where more than 200,000 people have died and 2.5 million made homeless since ethnic African rebels took up arms in early 2003 against the Arab-dominated Sudanese government.

Sudan's government is accused of retaliating by unleashing a militia of Arab nomads known as the janjaweed, a charge Khartoum denies.

Al-Bashir told reporters after meeting with Italian Premier Romano Prodi that he was offering a cease-fire linked to the start of negotiations Oct. 27 in Libya, which borders on Darfur, to "create a positive climate."

"We hope that the negotiations in Tripoli will be the last ones and that they will bring definitive peace," al-Bashir said.

A rebel leader, Abdulwahid Elnur of the Sudan Liberation Movement, has refused to join the talks, saying negotiations should not start before a cease-fire and before the arrival of a U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force. U.N. officials have said troops could start deploying in October.

"How many cease-fires is al-Bashir going to offer?" Elnur asked Friday in a telephone call from Paris, adding: "No one on Earth will make me go" to Libya.

Elnur listed nearly a dozen that he said Sudan's forces violated, but observers said some were also breached by Darfur rebels.

Al-Bashir's truce offer came after his forces launched a major attack earlier this week on another rebel faction, the Justice and Equality Movement, in northern Darfur. JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim, who had earlier said he would go to Libya, now says he might not if government attacks continued.

JEM's chief political negotiator, Abdullahi Eltom, dismissed al-Bashir cease-fire offer on Friday, saying the president's "word is worth nothing."

At a news conference late Friday, al-Bashir criticized the rebel groups that aren't willing to engage in talks. "We think there are a number of factions not ready to obtain peace," he said.

"They are enjoying their stay in these luxurious hotels" in Europe, he said, adding that he had asked both the pope and Prodi to urge the French government to pressure rebel leaders it is hosting to join in the peace process.

The Vatican and Italian government have come under criticism from at least one human rights group for agreeing to meet with al-Bashir, but Prodi defended the visit as a "useful" way to press Sudan to make good on its pledges about Darfur.

And while the pope in the past has denounced the humanitarian disaster in Darfur as "horror," the Vatican chose an upbeat tone to describe Benedict's 25-minute talks with the Sudanese president in the papal summer palace in Castel Gandolfo outside Rome.

Discussions were particularly focused on Darfur, the Vatican said. "Very positive views were expressed concerning fresh peace negotiations," it said.

"It is the Holy See's heartfelt hope that these negotiations prove successful in order to put an end to the suffering and insecurity of these peoples," the Vatican statement said.

The human rights group Amnesty International had expressed concern about what the visit by al-Bashir, who came to power in 1989 in a military and Islamic coup, would achieve and why Italy agreed to welcome him.

Last month, a U.N. report accused the Sudanese government of failing to investigate rapes allegedly carried out by Sudanese forces and militiamen, an accusation Sudan's justice minister has called untrue. On Thursday, a separate U.N. report said children in Sudan are still being recruited to fight and suffer abuses, including rape and abduction.

It was the first time al-Bashir — in Italy to meet with the Pope and Italy's leaders — had called for a cease-fire since the announcement last week that U.N.-backed peace talks will take place in Tripoli, Libya, beginning Oct. 27. A top rebel leader has demanded that hostilities end before negotiations can begin.

More than 200,000 people have died and 2.5 million have been uprooted since ethnic African rebels in Darfur took up arms against the Arab-dominated Sudanese government in 2003.

Sudan's government is accused of retaliating by unleashing a militia of Arab nomads known as the janjaweed, a charge Khartoum denies.

Prodi praised al-Bashir's offer of a cease-fire saying that "this is an important signal, a strong signal that I welcomed with favor."

Al-Bashir's offer came just four days after a major attack launched by his forces against units of the Justice and Equality rebel group in Haskanita, a small town in northern Darfur. Sudanese army helicopter gunships and Antonov aircraft bombed the town in violation of a U.N. military flight embargo, killing over a dozen people.

Al-Bashir, who came to power in 1989 in a military and Islamic coup, was making a rare, high-profile visit to Western Europe that raised concern from human rights advocates and some politicians.

The Vatican said that Pope Benedict XVI and al-Bashir spoke for 25 minutes at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo in the Alban Hills southeast of Rome.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi described the atmosphere during the talks as "very respectful."

"One could see there was a great commitment by Sudan for this meeting, as demonstrated by such a high-level delegation with evident care to showing great attention and respect for the Vatican," Lombardi told reporters.

Associated Press writers Alfred de Montesquiou in Khartoum, Sudan, and Daniela Petroff in Vatican City contributed to this report.


This was the earlier story from AFP:

Sudan president offers Darfur ceasefire
by Ljubomir Milasin


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ROME, Sept. 14 (AFP) - Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir, on a landmark visit for talks with Pope Benedict XVI, said Friday he was ready to call a Darfur ceasefire ahead of peace talks with rebels.

Beshir raised the possibility of a ceasefire after meeting with Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi.

"We stated that we are prepared for a ceasefire for the start of negotiations in order to create a positive climate conducive to a positive end to the negotiations," Beshir told a press briefing.

The Sudanese government and Darfur rebels who refused to sign a peace agreement are to hold talks in Tripoli from October 27.

Beshir faces mounting international pressure over the conflict in the western region where at least 200,000 have been killed and two million displaced since 2003, according to UN figures.

The Sudanese president said he asked Prodi to pressure "certain European countries harbouring some of these rebel groups" to persuade them to come to the talks.

"We hope that the negotiations in Tripoli will be the last and that they will produce a definitive peace," Beshir said, adding that he wanted an end to economic sanctions against his government and the cancellation of its foreign debt.

Prodi expressed Rome's hope that Khartoum will make "realistic contributions" to the negotiations.

He pledged financial help and transport and logistical assistance and training for the UN peacekeeping force to be deployed in Darfur, where a brutal conflict erupted in 2003 when Khartoum enlisted Janjaweed Arab militia allies to help put down an ethnic minority rebellion.

Beshir's meeting at the papal residence in Castel Gandolfo near Rome will be the first between a Sudanese president and a pope.

In June, Benedict called for a "political solution" to the Darfur conflict that respects minorities.

"No viable solution for peace based on justice can be reached through armed force," the pope said.

Meanwhile the Human Rights Watch group urged Prodi and the pope to call for the arrest of International Criminal Court suspects including Sudanese State Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Ahmed Haroun, now in charge of hearing human rights complaints from victims of abuse in Darfur.

The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Haroun in April citing 42 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes. The court highlighted evidence indicating that Haroun recruited, paid and supplied arms to Janjaweed militia accused of raping and killing civilians in Darfur in 2003 and 2004.

"Nominating a suspected war criminal to hear human rights complaints from Darfur's victims is outrageous and shows the government's utter disregard for their plight," said Lotte Leicht, EU advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.

"The Italian government cannot stand by silently while President Bashir is in Rome, the birthplace of the International Criminal Court," Leicht said.

The African Union Mission in Sudan said on Tuesday it was deeply concerned about renewed fighting between government troops and rebels.

The official Sudanese news agency SUNA reported that Beshir would also discuss efforts to implement the 2005 peace accord in southern Sudan, whose population is mainly Christian and animist, with the pope.

The accord, reached after more than a decade of talks, ended a war that claimed 1.5 million lives and displaced more than four million people.

Beshir is accompanied by a large delegation that includes figures from Sudan's mainly Catholic, Christian minority.

The pope in June urged Sudanese authorities to "banish all forms of discrimination" and stressed the importance of religious freedom.

Beshir, who came to power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989, is also set to meet his Italian counterpart Giorgio Napolitano and the ministers of economic development and transport, Luigi Bersani and Alessandro Bianchi, during a three-day visit.


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THE TRAD-MASS IN VIENNA
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Today, I am consolidating all news about the pre-1970 Mass in this thread. Visually, you might want to look at the photos of a Pontifical High Mass in the traditional manner taken by Gerald Augustinus in Vienna before the Pope arrived and posted today on his blog
closedcafeteria.blogspot.com/

This is what it was about:


Extraordinary Mass at Franciscan church

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VIENNA - A 'co-production' of the FSSP, the archdiocese, and the Franciscans, this was the annual 'Holy Name of Mary' Mass. It was a Pontifical High Mass, celebrant was the Apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Edmond Farhat. The music was by Joseph Haydn, the so-called Nelson-Mass. The Mass took place at Franziskanerkirche, Vienna.

EWTN was filming it, so it should be on sometime soon.
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Pope puts away traveling shoes, prepares for busy fall and winter

By John Thavis
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- After a three-day trip to Austria in early September, Pope Benedict XVI is putting away his traveling shoes and settling in for a long fall and winter at the Vatican.

The next foreign trip fixed firmly on the pope's calendar is mid-July of 2008, when he plans to fly to Australia for World Youth Day celebrations.

Vatican officials say the pope also expects to visit the United Nations and New York in 2008, and April now looks like a likely time frame. He could easily add one or two other eastern U.S. cities, such as Philadelphia or Boston, to that itinerary.

Other foreign travels in the first half of 2008 look less probable. There was talk about a possible papal trip to Quebec for the International Eucharistic Congress in mid-June, but Vatican sources said no concrete plans were being made for such a visit.

A papal visit to the Marian sanctuary at Lourdes, France, may occur, but probably later in 2008. The Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, also has invited the pope, but there's been no answer yet. If the pope does go next year, church sources think it would be in the fall, perhaps in connection with the Lourdes visit.

Despite a recently renewed Israeli invitation for a papal visit, Vatican sources said there was no rush to make that happen in 2008.

When Pope Benedict was elected, he said he'd be more of a stay-at-home pope than his globe-trotting predecessor, Pope John Paul II. But four months after his election, Pope Benedict was presiding over World Youth Day in Germany, and in 2006 he seemed almost restless, making four trips outside Italy.

To date, he's made seven foreign trips -- more than most people expected. Unlike Pope John Paul's barnstorming tours, however, Pope Benedict's foreign journeys have been brief and generally close to home.

In Pope John Paul's first seven trips, he visited five continents, from Japan to Mexico, and logged more than 60,000 miles. Pope Benedict has strayed outside Europe only twice -- to Turkey and to Brazil.

The pace of the visits has also changed. Pope John Paul spent 53 days on the road during his first two and a half years, giving 313 speeches in foreign countries. Pope Benedict has spent 25 days traveling, delivering 74 speeches on the road.

Health does not appear to be an issue for Pope Benedict, who scoots up stairs and strides onto podiums with an energy and ease that often surprise people.

There are other reasons the pope is staying close to home in the coming months, however. For one thing, he has a backlog of "ad limina" meetings to get through, with bishops from Asia, Africa and Europe coming through his door for their periodic consultations.

The pope is also said to be dedicating much of his time to two special projects. The first is completion of his second volume on the life of Jesus, expected to cover Christ's passion, death and resurrection. The first volume, "Jesus of Nazareth," was published last spring.

The other project, more nebulous, is the pope's second encyclical. The pope tantalized reporters during his summer vacation in northern Italy by telling them he was working on a new encyclical, and a Vatican spokesman later said it would be related to Catholic social teaching.

The pope will get out of Rome at least once this fall when he makes an Oct. 21 trip to Naples, Italy, where he is expected to meet with Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople at the opening of an interreligious conference.

Probably the biggest public event on the pope's fall calendar is the anticipated naming of new cardinals and a consistory at the Vatican. Most expect the pope to announce the cardinals' names in late October and preside over the consistory liturgies Nov. 24-25.

At that time, the pope would have at least 17 vacancies to fill among the cardinals who are under age 80 and can vote in a conclave. The limit of voting-age cardinals is 120, although Pope John Paul sometimes went over that number.

Among those expected to get a red hat this time around are U.S. Archbishop John P. Foley, who was recently named pro-grand master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem.

Other U.S. possibilities include the archbishops of Washington and Baltimore. But Vatican sources noted that retired cardinals from both those archdioceses are still among the 11 U.S. cardinal electors, making new cardinals less likely this time around.

The pope's list of cardinals is expected to include four or five Roman Curia officials and the new head of the Italian bishops' conference, Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa. Other European candidates include the archbishops of Paris; Dublin, Ireland; and Warsaw, Poland.

In Africa, potential cardinals are found among the archbishops of Kampala, Uganda; Nairobi, Kenya; and Abuja, Nigeria. In Asia, a potential cardinal comes from Mumbai, India; and in South America, potential cardinals are found in Sao Paolo and other Brazilian archdioceses.

15/09/2007 07.41
 
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THOSE DISSIDENT BISHOPS
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Some of the Italian newspapers today (9/14) persisted in playing up the vocal opponents of the Motu Proprio in their stories. In Libero, Antonio Socci counterpunches.


Bishops against the trad-mass
are really targetting the Pope

By Antonio Socci


It was 1971, and theologian Joseph Ratzinger - a man of Vatican-II - denounced the huge 'progressivist' disaster of the post-Council period, stating clearly the responsibility of so many bishops:

"On the bases of such progressivist representations, it seems that even among bishops, there seems to be an 'imperative to be topical' with an 'inexorable tendency' to deride dogma and even to indicate that n one can be certain about the existence of God. Therefore, I am sure that the Church is facing very difficult times, and that its real crisis is just beginning."

Indeed, the crisis was set ablaze above all by the assault on liturgy which is the heart of the Church. In 1997, as the cardinal responsible for the defense of the faith, Ratzinger would write: "I am convinced that the church crisis in which we find ourselves today depends in large part on the collapse of liturgy."

Today, as Pope, he has given the Church a historic day, when his Motu Proprio restores to the faithful the freedom to participate in the Church's traditional liturgy.

Which is not mainly about the use of Latin as many dissidents want to make it appear, forgetting that even Paul VI's 1970 Mass is Latin in its 'typical' form. Nor does this matter interest only so-called traditionalists.

It is about so much more. The dark night - of the progressivist, modernist inside job of trying to demolish the Church as it has been for two millenia - is coming to an end.

A great theologian like Hans Urs von Balthasar - whom Papa Wojtyla had meant to name cardinal for his contribution to Vatican-II - wrote: "Strangely, because of this false interpretation [of Vatican-II], one has the feeling that the post-conciliar liturgy has become more clerical that in the days when the priest was simply a servant of the mystery that he had the privilege to celebrate."

Starting today, Christians will finally regain the freedom to pray (and to believe) in the way their forebears and the saints prayed (and believed) all these centuries. This freedom was taken away from them capriciously and despotically by progressivist bishops and priests who initially presented the liturgical reform of 1969 as an abolition of the traditional rights of the Church, and later sabotaged the indults granted by John Paul II in 1984 and 1988.

Now Benedict XVI - aware of how that boycott by some bishops had foiled John Paul's intentions - has told the bishops to recognize the rights of the faithful. This is a great step that will bring surprising fruits to the Church.

But once again, a number of bishops are intending to disobey the Pope with open rebellion or with dialectical tricks. And setting the tone, as usual, was Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini who - in the robes of anti-Pope - made known that he would never celebrate the traditional rite again because of "the sense of being closed in that emanated from the kind of Christian living as it was then practised."

Thus, empowered by his own brand of progressivist ministry (and episcopate), Martini brushed away centuries of sainthood - the Church in which the greatest saints flourished, from Francis and Catherine, from Charles Borromeo and Francis Xavier, to Therese of Lisieux, from Maximilian Kolbe to Padre Pio - to claim that it emanates mustiness compared to the progressivists' idea of a church, made up of - and in the very image - of Catho-communists, freewheeling ecumenists, and liberation theologians.

And the great Catholic liturgy, for whom geniuses like Michelangelo, Caravaggio and Mozart had created masterpieces, gives out the sense of entombment compared to what? - the post-Conciliar liturgical license and its most indecent abuses?

Hard on the heels of Martini comes his successor in Milan, Cardinal Tettamanzi, who has been emboldened to boycott the Pope and his Motu Proprio. As earlier, a few other Italian bishops, had explicitly expressed opposition to the Motu Proprio, like the bishop of Pisa (from whom I am still waiting to hear an explanation why the cathedral of Pisa charges admission as though it were a museum).

To get an idea of what the 'progresssivist Church' is, one must read an article published the other day in La Repubblica. It spoke of the funeral of the gypsy children who died in a fire in Livorno. Tne rites were celebrated by an Orthodox prelate in the Catholic Cathedral of Livorno.

Mons. Razzauto, the diocesan administrator with episcopal functions, who allowed the ecumenical event, said: "If, for special reasons, or for lack of any other pace, I would not have any problem in putting the Cathedral at the disposition even of Muslims."

You read right. The Catholic cathedral available for Islamic rites. I will leave the comments - theological and canonical - to the Vatican.

But I would like to underscore that this prelate who is so ecumenical and willing to open his Church doors for Muslim use, has for decades denied his fellow Catholics the right to celebrate the traditional Mass.

In another Tuscan city (Siena), a bishop refused to allow a cardinal to say Mass in his Cathedral because the Mass was to be the traditional Mass.

In this open rebellion by bishops (the newspapers speak of two other Italian bishops), there is an opposition to the Pope that goes back a long way. At Vatican II, Fr. Giuseppe Dossetti - who went from Italian politics to agitating for reforms int he Church - tried to prove that the bishop has inherent power of jurisdiction over ordination itself, beyond the power conferred on him by the Pope.

If this idea were ever accepted by the Catholic Church, then it would become the Episcopal church where the leader of the Church is nothing more than a coordinator.

Of course, Dossetti's idea was turned down, and Paul VI removed Dossetti. [I must admit I have no idea what exactly the Pope did to Dossetti.] But the progressivists never did give up their feeling of entitlement.

In his last years, Paul VI became a voice crying in the desert. The then patriarch of Venice, Albino Luciani, was one of the few bishops in Italy who tried to oppose the progressivist trend: "It is time to declare courageously that to be one with the Pope is not to show a degenerate inferirority complex but a fruit of the Holy Spirit."

Then, with Wojtyla, the Pontificate regained its vigor.

But I remember the excellent Don Divo Barsotti who told me in a 1985 interview: "The peril is great that the only Church of Christ will fall apart. I think that the Pope's travels express this tragic preoccupation. The Papacy was so humiliated and isolated in the past several years. No one wanted to listen to the Pope, least of all the bishops..."

Rightly, Barsotti underscored that the bishop has the right to be followed by the faithful but only if the bishop is in communion with the Pope. Otherwise, eh is setting up his own 'church'. Loyalty requires that a bishop who disagrees with the Pope should resign.

But the dissident bishops won't even think of giving up their episcopal powers. Unfortunately, any 'progressivist' who is named a bishop will simply carry on the trend. They would have the clerical bureaucracy in their power.

But why do these dissident bishops fear freedom? Why do they wish to prevent the faithful from praying as they have for centuries? Because in the church, lex orandi is lex credendi. Traditional liturgy expresses orthodox Catholic doctrine, the true faith that fascinates and attracts. Whereas their season has come and gone - a season, as Cardinal Ratzinger had decried, when Christians could be borne here and there by whatever doctrinal wind.

In that memorable speech before the Conclave of 2005, Ratzinger had exclaimed: "How many winds of doctrine have we known in these last decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking!...The small boat of thought of many Christians has been shaken by these waves, tossed from one extreme to the other."

Benedict XVI is seeking to anchor that boat to orthodox tradition. Even if the 'clerical party' has declared war on him, he has the Christian people on his side.

Libero, 14 settembre 2007



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15/09/2007 15.33
 
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YESTERDAY'S TRAD-MASS IN LORETO

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As we might expect, Avvenire devoted coverage to Day-1 of the Mass MP going into effect yesterday. Centerpiece event in Italy was the Mass said at the Basilica of the Holy House in Loreto by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. In the absence of news agency photos, I lifted the B/W photos from the PDF of Avvenire's coverage page.

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On the other hand, L'Osservatore Romano had not a single word on its front page about the significance of September 14 in terms of the Mass MP, either in its issues of September 14 or September 15. Its front-page 'teasers' advertised 'More picture of the Pope in Mariazell' and other articles, but none about the Mass MP. Very strange, considering that even Italian MSM papers took note of the occasion.


Restoration of traditional Mass
should not be an occasion
for division in the Church

By Loreto Mimmo Muolo

Silent concentration and Gregorian chant. Classic Mass vestments and prayers recited softly by the Mass celebrant facing the same direction as the faithful.

In the Crypt of Pilgrims of the lower Basilica of the Holy House in Loreto, Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos offered the Eucharistic Sacrifice yesterday using the Mass form anterior to the 1970 reform by Paul VI.

But in his homily he said, "We should understand that the important thing is not the rite, but the Eucharist, Christ who becomes Flesh and Blood for our salvation...All of us are oriented towards the Sacrifice of Christ."

The celebration of the pre-1970 Mass was at the request of Una Voce, a worldwide association that has promoted the traditional liturgy all over the world, and has active chapters in most major Italian cities.

A festive atmosphere was evident among the 700 persons who attended the Mass, including the Russian ambassador to the Holy See and a personal representative of Patriarch Alexei II, Father Filip Vassiliev. Absent was Archbishop Luigi Danzi, who granted the permission for the Mass, but said he would be unable to attend because of 'a previous unavoidable commitment'.

The Pontifical High Mass, with the participation of the choir of the Basilica and the Rossini Chamber Choir of Pesaro, lasted two and a half hours.

The Capuchin rector of the Basilica, Fr. Marzio Calletti, said in a brief welcome address before the Mass, that the restoration of the traditional rite was "a gift received, thanks to the benevolence of the Holy Father."

In his homily, Cardinal Castrillon said that the Pope's Motu Proprio on the Mass was "an expression of his spirit, his heart and his mind, an exercise of his office that is not only guiding and leading but also sanctifying" and that therefore, "all the bishops of the world should be happy to be able to offer their faithful the possibility to experience the richness of this holy rite."

Castrillon said the traditional rite is "beautiful and theologically powerful" which deserves "to enjoy its due merit for its long and venerable use."

Therefore, he said, because it is a free choice offered and not imposed on the faithful, it should be met "without opposition."

"Celebrating this extraordinary form does not mean diminishing the new Mass nor that the congregation is being ignored," he said. "Far from turning the Church back, the Pope is moving ahead....We should all be grateful to the Holy Father for the gift of this Motu Proprio which comes from his heart."

Fr. Vassiliev, representing the Patriarch of Moscow, recalled patriarch Alexei II's approval of the Pope's move as 'a very positive initiative.'

Avvenire, 15 settembre 2007

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15/09/2007 17.01
 
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SCHUELERKREISE SEMINAR AT CASTEL GANDOLFO

VATICAN CITY, Sept. 14 (Apcom) - The Pope spends most of this weekend surrounded by about 40 of his former doctoral students in German universities in their yearly reunion and seminar.

The so-called Ratzinger Schuelerkreise has been meeting yearly for more than 20 years, and this is their third reunion at Castel Gandolfo.

Most prominent among the Pope's ex-students is Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, Archbishop of Vienna, who, as president of the Austrian bishops conference, was his host during his pilgrimage to
Austria last week.

This year, the Schuelerkreise will resume their discussion of evolution and creation, begun last year, with emphasis on the theological and philosophical aspects of the issue this time.

The proceedings of the 2006 seminar, which was focused on the scientific debate over evolution, have been published in a book, Schoepfung und Evolution, which came out in Germany on the Pope's 80th birthday last April.

Lecturers invited this year include Ulrich Luecke, scientist-theologian from the University of Aix la Chapelle, and philosopher Rolf Schoenberger from the University of Regensburg.


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15/09/2007 22.48
 
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AN ISRAELI PRIEST SPEAKS HIS MIND ON THE MASS MP,
THE POPE'S 'JESUS' BOOK AND THE TRUE SENSE OF INTER-RELIGIOUS DIALOG

Here is a translation of an extensive interview in this week's issue of the magazine Tempi with Fr. David Jaeger, whose name may be familiar to those who follow the reports on ongoing bilateral talks between representatives of the Vatican and Israel towards implementation of an agreement reached in 1993.


There can be no 'double truths'
By Amicone Luigi


David Maria Jaeger, 52, is a Franciscan priest who holds Israeli and Brazilian passports, and is a permanent resident of the United States. He is a most unusual priest in many ways: a bon vivant with a sharp intellect, self-ironic and cosmopolitan, he is the only Cahtolic priest who is also a 'sabra', a person of Jewish ancestry born in postwar Israel.

Coming from an intellectual family who immigrated from eastern Europe to Tel Aviv, Fr. Jaeger is moreover particularly devoted to Pope Pius XII, of whom he is a strenuous defender. It was after reading Pius XII's encyclical Mystici corporis Christi that moved him at 17 years old, to enter a Catholic Church in Jaffa and ask for baptism.

The Israeli press considers Jaeger the man chiefly responsible the fundamental accord between Israel and the Holy See in 1993 (which still has to be implemented) and a member of the permanent bilateral commission for the implementation of said accord.

He has been judicial vicar in the Diocese of Austin, Texas, and then appellate judge for the ecclesiastical court in the state of Texas. At present, he is a professor of Canon Law at the Pontifical University Antonianum in Rome. In the United States, he is president of The Church and Israel Public Education Initiative, and in Italy, of the cultural association Europe-Near East Center.


Fr. Jaeger, first of all, what do you think of the controversy about the prayer for the Jews in John XXIII's 1962 Mass, and the fact that Paul VI decreed a very different form of those prayers? Are both forms valid?

As Pope Benedict XVI has said repeatedly, the Church never abrogated or renounced the earlier form of the Mass when it formulated and promulgated Paul VI's Mass in 1970. In fact, the earlier form was never disallowed. John Paul II then sought to allow the faithful greater facility to avail of the traditional mass.

So Pope Benedict's move is not really a substantial innovation, but simply, a liberalization of procedures.

In Italy, one might call it a form of 'self-certification.' Article 2 of the Motu Proprio states:

In Masses celebrated without the people [Mass said in private by the priest], each Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular, may use the Roman Missal published by Bl. Pope John XXIII in 1962, or the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970, and may do so on any day with the exception of the Easter Triduum. For such celebrations, with either one Missal or the other, the priest has no need for permission from the Apostolic See or from his Ordinary [diocesan bishop].

What do you say to the criticism by some Jewish representatives?

They are unjustified.


Why?

Because the Church has never changed its faith. The Gospel message is directed to all human beings, and the divine will is that all human beings get to know Christ and accept him as Lord and Savior.

Christianity is a universal religion which believes that subjectively, God can save anyone even those who have not known Christ, but objectively, that the salvation intended by God for men is that which is found in Christ and his Church.

Therefore, the Church, by its essential calling, always prays for the conversion of everyone to Christ, none excluded. This faith of the Church is irrenunciable. To renounce it would be to renounce Christianity itself.


But there is a difference between the prayers formulated by John XXIII and by Paul VI.

Yes. In Paul VI's Missal, later issued in two subsequent editions by John Paul II, the prayer on Good Friday is expressed in less explicit manner, and asks that the Jews may continue to progress in their faithfulness to the alliance.

Whoever knows anything about Christianity cannot fail to understand that for the Christian, 'to progress in faithfulness to the alliance' means unequivocally to come to recognize in Jewish scripture a Christologic orientation, namely, to recognize and be convinced that the ancient scriptures all refer to Christ who is the fulfillment of the Alliance with God.

That is why the Motu Proprio does not introduce any substantial changes even in this respect - it simply allows a different form of expressing the same prayer, which is an essential prayer of Christianity.


So it can give rise to some misunderstanding beyond anything that results from what we might call an excess of ecumenical zeal.

Certainly. But no one should feel offended or injured about the prayer. Christianity and Judaism are different religions. If one talks of dialog, this takes place between two different interlocutors. If Christianity and Judaism were totally in agreement, then they would not be different religions.

They are different in how they consider Christ. Dialog begins from that. One begins by saying: We have different attitudes about Christ, but despite that, we have a vast common legacy, the Hebrew scriptures, which transmit a message that continues to be very much alive, even if Jews do not see its Christologic implications.

But on the basis of what we do have in common, we can and should continue not only to know each other better and accurately, but bear witness together to the world of the beliefs that we fully share - in one God, in mankind and in the relationship between God and man. That is dialog. That is collaboration.

In addition, we both share very firmly a belief in the human right to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. So Christians and Jews renounce the use of any means of coercion to make others accept what we believe. And we both believe that the State should respect what we might call 'the free market of ideas.'

Advocates of different ideas, including opposing ones, have the right - while respecting the rules of free exchange of thought - to propose their own ideas to others and to hope that others would accept them.


On the matter of dialog, Jacob Neusner, the great American rabbi who is quoted extensively by Pope Benedict in the book JESUS OF NAZARETH, said: "Benedict XVI is a searcher of the truth. We are living in interesting times." Have you read the book? What do you think of it? Don't you find it singularly extraordinary that the Vicar of Christ himself, as a premise of his own book about Christ, should state that "it is by no means an act of the Magisterium" and that "anyone is free to contradict me"?

I have read the book, and I do find this work by the Holy Father singularly extraordinary. In the book, the Pope faces the most fundamental challenge to any intelligent Christian - namely, how to integrate the acquired knowledge from recent studies - generally referred to as the historico-critical method - with the faith of the Church.

This is a fundamental challenge because, on the one hand, we cannot totally reject all the Biblical research done in the 20th century (whose value Pius XII already acknowledged in the encyclical Divino afflante Spiritu), but on the other hand, we cannot non-critically accept results from studies premised on the non-existence of God. A method that excludes God, that proceeds as if God did not exist, cannot be an adequate method for studying Christ.


So you think that in his book, Benedict XVI re-establishes a method that is appropriate to coming to grips with the Christian 'problem'.

Yes, the question of method is decisive. One must have an intrinsic criterion which allows the integrated use of historical research with a knowledge of the faith. The question goes back to when Pius X denounced modernism for crediting the results of historico-critical studies carried on with the idea that God does not exist. This question of method is very important. And it remains an open issue which has not been completely confronted. The Pope shows the way in his book.


Which way?

The exemplary and unparalleled way in which a believer, without ever dealing in 'double truths', succeeds in all possible and necessary use of historico-critical knowledge within the experience of the faith, and that is a knowledge that only the Church and its believers can have.


Meanwhile, in so much of current theology, this risk of separating the historical Jesus from the Jesus of the faith seems to be rising again - a risk that Papa Ratzinger has always decried.

Yes, I call it the risk of the 'double truth.'


And that would be...?

In the Middle Ages, there was a philosophical current - that of the so-called Latin Averroists - who claimed that truth could be different depending on the method used to find it. They believed that God did not create the world from nothing, as theology claims, but that the world being eternal for philosophers, it was always there, it did not have to be created. But of course, such an approach could never be accepted, and the Averroists were severely condemned.

But truth is unique. If something is true in theology, it cannot be untrue in philosophy. But there are those who use the historico-critical method and profess a double truth.

Cardinal Ratzinger once quoted an old theologian who said, "I believe that a close study of Scriptures will show that the stories of the Incarnation, of the Anunciation and Mary's virginity, are fables, literary constructions. But as a Catholic, I truly believe that our Lord was born of a Virgin and that he is God incarnate."

That is not possible, One cannot proclaim a double truth, one contradicting the other. Truth is unique, or it is not the truth.

That's why I think that the Pope's book - perhaps more than anything else has done so far - is an example of definitively rejecting this idea of a double truth.


Coming back to Rabbi Neusner. In the Pope's book, this Jewish scholar plays an important role in dissipating every reasonable doubt about the historicity and the Jewish identity of the figure whom Christians recognize as the Messiah. What do you think?

It is impressive how Jesus, the religious Jew, comes out with a claim that is unique to anyone else who professes himself a Jew. Rabbi Neusner underscores how Jesus was not a Jew who obeyed all the prescriptions of his religion, by proclaiming himself the Lord of the Sabbath and behaving accordingly. This is something that a practising Jew, obedient and faithful to Judaism, would never even think of doing.


But the emphasis that Benedict XVI places on the Jewishness of Jesus is original. One might almost think that his Magisterium in this respect goes even farther than the symbolic first visit made by John Paul II to the Synagogue of Rome.

Yes. But this something that arises from the very concept of the Incarnation. The Incarnation is God's entry into the history of man. It could never have happened in the abstract. The humanity of Jesus, the incarnate God, would never have been something generic.

To be human and subject to the history of all humanity, God had to 'happen' in a precise place, at a determined moment in time, in a historical context for man. He had to be a member of a nation, a culture, a community.

Jesus's incarnation happened within the Jewish people, within their community and culture. It didn't happen anywhere else, because in the Jewish people, for many centuries, God had been patiently
preparing a religious, cultural and historical context suitable for receiving the divine revelation.

And so God came into this specific human historical context. And he overcomes it. Or, perhaps better said, he brings it to fulfillment. That is the relationship between Christ and Judaism. And that is the unique and singular link between Christian faith and the Jewish legacy, including those who, to this day, keep the Jewish faith and merit what John Paul II once called them, 'our older brothers.'

Judaism and Christianity are the only two religions which derive from positive, public divine revelation. That is why the link between the two faiths is something absolutely unique and irrepeatable.


You once said that Judaism cannot be separated from its secular rebirth as Zionism and its historical outcome, the state of Israel.

Of course. Judaism today cannot be seen simply as a conservation of that culture which knew Jesus as a human being. Judaism was not kept in a deep freeze. No one who knows Judaism can extrapolate from Judaism today the historical environment in which Jesus lived. This can only be done by the scholar who studies Jewish sources with the historico-critical method.

One must also point out that Judaism, following the resurrection of Christ (and especially after the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem a few decades later) developed in a dialectical relationship with Christianity. We didn't have, on the one hand, Judaism which remained unchanged from Jesus's time, and on the other, Christianity which developed on its own.

There was a watershed: on the one side, the Jews and Gentiles who believed in Jesus; on the other, those who did not believe in Jesus but who carried on their Judaism developing dialectically in relation to Christianity.

One must have a historical overview, the same way one needs it to understand the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches. There are those who think, for instance, that the Greek Orthodox Byzantine churches of today are simply a continuation of the Christian church in the first millennium. That is not simply historically false, but it is not even possible. Human existence takes place within history.

In my own case, it was not a simple conversion from Judaism to Christianity. My Jewish past is something for which I am profoundly grateful to Providence. But I came to Christianity as a person who undertook an existential path with certain questions - those which are formulated at the beginning of Gaudium et spes[Joy and Hope, the pastoral constitution on 'the church in the modern world' promulgated by Vatican-II].

Questions on the sense of life and of death, on the effort and difficulty of human existence. I came to Christianity because of such questions. I abandoned Judaism early in my youth, deciding to abandon it after having studied it. My existential questioning eventually led me to Christianity. I didn't abandon Judaism for Christianity. I found in Christianity the answers to my fundamental questions as a man.

Tempi num.37 del 13/09/2007


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Yesterday, Sandro Magister's blog was a sort of summary about the major pro and con reactions so far to the Holy Father's Motu Proprio on the Mass, and ended with a link to an article he commissioned about the restoration of the traditional Mass. I was hoping that by today, he would come out with an English translation of it, but he has not, so let me go ahead and translate the blog and the article:


The Motu Proprio goes into effect:
Who's for it and who's against it

By Sandro Magister
Settimo Cielo, 9/14/07



For the date on which the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum goes into effect, Benedict XVI chose September 14, feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. From this day onward, therefore, the Pope desires that the traditional and modern versions of the Roman rite Mass should co-exist peacefully, and peacefully nourish each other with their respective virtues.

The Pope has done much - including an explanatory letter accompanying the Motu Proprio - to convince bishops, priests and the faithful about the good behind his decision. But he has not succeeded with everyone.

The most vociferous objectors are among liturgists, some of them co-authors of the modern variants of the Mass.

One of them, Manlio Sodi, a Salesian consultant in the office of Papal liturgical celebrations, no less, has written for a Padua publisher a tract called "The Missal of Pius V: Why have the Latin Mass in the III millennium?", expressing his great 'disappointment'.

Another famous liturgist, Rinaldo Falsini, wrote the preface to a booklet by the Genoese dissident priest Paolo Farinella entitled "Return to the old Mass: New problems and questions", which is really a furious harangue against the Pope's decision.

Falsini tries to distance himself from the tone, but he writes that she shares Farinella's statements. His preface may be found on www.chiesa under the title “Come testimone vivente del Concilio e della sua mens…“ (As a living witness of the Council and its frame of mind...) [One would think he was the only witness of the Council, not a certain Joseph Ratzinger who was far more prominent at the time and afterwards!]

In defense of the Motu Proprio have been two books: One by Pietro Siffi, entitled “La Messa di San Pio V: Osservazioni sul rito tridentino in risposta ai critici del Motu proprio” (The Mass of Pius V: Observations on the Tridentine rite in response to criticisms of the Motu Proprio). The second, by Francesco Agnoli, is
entitled “La liturgia tradizionale”.

But in addition to the books, comments have been publicized here and there. Among those inherently critical, the most striking was an article by Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini published in the newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore on Sunday, July 29, entitled “Amo il latino, però…“(I love Latin, but...)

[In the interests of completeness, I am translating an account by Andrea Tornielli, who summarizes the well-publicized objections of four Italian bishops, as follows:


Upon publication of the Motu Proprio, the Bishop of Sora, Luca Brandolini, said: "It is a day of mourning, not only for me, but for so many who lived through and experienced the Second Vatican Council."

The Archbishop of Pisa, Alessandro Plotti - contradicting the Motu Proprio provision that the faithful can directly ask their parish priest for a celebration of the traditional Mass - sent out a diocesan notice that "The 1962 Missal may not be introduced in any parish of this diocese...(thus) offering indiscriminately a celebration [of the Mass] in Latin" and orders his priests to go through him "before granting or denying any such privilege".

The bishop of Alba, Sebastiano Dho, who is head of the liturgical commission of the bishops of the Piedmont region, sounded an alarm that the execution of the Motu Proprio would create 'a parallel Church.'

And the bishop of Como, Diego Coletti, said a request for the traditional Mass could not be presented by individuals "who suddenly desire to participate in a pre-Conciliar Mass."

All the above interventions have been pervaded by an ill-concealed aversion to the liberalization decreed by the Pope and are intended to preventively restrict its implementation.

Many have reacted by saying that these dissenting bishops should be committed just as much, if not more, to obvious liturgical abuses, improprieties and thoughtless 'creative' initiatives which have transformed the new Mass into a 'show', as Cardinal Ratzinger once wrote

.
In support of the Motu Proprio are, for instance, the three comments reported on www.chiesa on July 16 under the title “Liturgia ed ecumenismo. Come applicare il Concilio Vaticano II“. [English version posted on this Forum].

A major addition is the editorial of La Civilta Cattolica in its September 15 issue entitled “La liturgia nel solco della tradizione“ [English translation posted a few posts above, on this thread].

Finally, there is a commentary in depth written especially for www.chiesa by Francesco Arzillo, “Riflessioni sul motu proprio Summorum Pontificum“ [translated below].


Reflections on 'Summorum Pontificum'
on the day it goes into effect

By Francesco Arzillo



On the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14, the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum takes effect, through which Pope Benedict XVI has provided open space for liturgical use of the 1062 Missal.

This is an occasion to point to some fundamental questions which could influence the reception of the Pope's decree.

1. The Motu Proprio cuts into an ecclesial fabric already marked by polarization, particularly marked where it concerns the liturgy, and not by chance.

Because this concerns the living heart of the Church, which explains - without justifying over-the-top polemics - the passion with which their respective advocates defend the 'old rite' and the 'new rite', not to mention those who advocate a third way, the so-called 'reform of the reform' which goes beyond just a mere restoration of the traditional rite.

We cannot here go over their various arguments. But one must insist that the faithful have an aedquate perception of the gravity of the problems arising from the current practices of worship in the Roman Cahtolic Church.

We do not refer to serious liturgical abuses - which exist - butt to the average quality of Mass celebrations, especially Sunday Masses in the parishes. They show a widespread loss of the sense of the sacred - and this is revealed in so many details which become strongly significant when taken together, because they confer on the Mass the stamp of the aprticipants' subjective self-centeredness, far from a manifestation of the mystery being celebrated.

There is a great risk of reducing the Mystery - which precedes us and is beyond us - to a variable that depends on what the individual or the congregation feel about God (the subjectivity of 'the celebrating community'). Related to that risk is a parallel reduction of the sacred, either through the tendentious suppression of the sacred/profane antithesis, or through favoring tendencies with neo-pagan influences.

These deviations and risks cannot be attributed to the post-Conciliar Mass itself, because no one can legitimately question its orthodoxy as an expression of "witness of an unchanging faith' (in the words of the foreword to the third typical edition of the 1970 Missal).

The impropriety derives from an inadequate manner of celebrating the Mass, which in turn has a series of immediate and remote causes which defy a simplistic analysis.

One has the impression that the situation is not just casual, not simply due to negligence, carelessness or sloppiness, but betrays a questionable decline of the theology of Mystery and the anthropology of the Sacred. The fact that these concepts are hardly ever articulated, that they remain latent, complicates the situation, because it is more difficult to do something about it - when the attitude is widespread but the people concerned are barely aware of it - and this goes for both the clergy as well as the faithful.

Thus the liturgical question is attached to more serious problems - not merely a question of discipline or esthetics.

Once this context is established, we must take note of two essential elements of the Pope's intervention.

1. The first is teleological, that is, referring to ultimate ends. It is intended to unite the Church around its Lord, and certainly not to exacerbate existing tensions.

The division may come only from contrasting misinterpretations by those who on the one hand, see in the Pope's decision the 'legitimate' vindication of the traditional rite compared to the Novus Ordo; and on the other, those who see it as an extreme, almost condescending, concession to the few who continue be nostalgic for the old rite, which they consider to be completely incapable of making the least impression on the dominant position of the Novus Ordo following the liturgical reform of the late 1960s.

Both lead to serious risks.

The first one is that of fixation. Liturgy is never the mere exclusive repetition of the past in every detail. Think of the many centuries of fecund ihteraction between liturgical innovations and theological reflection which finally led to the proclamation of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.

The second risk is to adapt the liturgy to practical ideas meant to respond to present exigencies with the intention of forming a hypothetical 'Church of the future' as a contrast to the 'Church of the past'.

At the root of all this, of course, is the fundamental question of the link between the liturgical reform carried out in 1970 and Vatican-II, with its 'conflicting interpretations.'

But the Motu Proprio must be read in its context, which is the hermeneutic of reform, which postulates 'the renewal incontinuity of the only subject Church', as Benedict XVI described it in his Christmas address to the Roman Curia in 2005.

The formula 'two uses of a single Roman rite' is the canonical and liturgical translation of that hermeneutic,or interpretation, and should be the object of profound attention.

Surely, it eliminates every possibility of configuring, as one might say, 'ecclesiastical-liturgical parties' - the Tridentine-Pius X on one hand, and the Vatican-II/Paul VI party on the other.

Such a diachronic split is excluded, as a matter of principle, by the equal dignity and merit intrinsic in the two liturgical forms, as expressed in Article 2 of the Motu Proprio, which gives the priest the right to use the old or the new Missal, according to his choice and without need of any permission, in private Masses, i.e. not intended for the public (to which, however, Article 4 says, faithful who request of their own will to attend such Masses may be admitted).

It is true that the danger does not come only from a 'diachronic' split (between past and present) but also a 'synchronic' division, after an apparent resolution of the first.

This could come from a minimalistic reading of the Motu Proprio, which would have the effect of configuring two ecclesial communities isolated from each other by their respective choice of rite - thus transferring within the Church itself the dynamic of multiculturalism and modernity.

This is a real danger, aggravated by the widespread exaltation of self-referential, narcissistic subjectivity, which - applied to liturgy - results in modalities of worship dependent on the degree of gratification they bring to those who devise them. All of which means a complete negation of the authentic nature of a liturgical event.

What must be emphasized forcefully, instead, is the need for an authentic reciprocal acknowledgment in practice and not only in principle: the Catholic who is bound to the traditional Mass should do his best to undertand the reasons and the virtues of the new Mass, without deciding in advance not to participate in it at all. And vice-versa for the Catholic who feels totally invested in the new Mass.

3. The second element highlighted by the Motu Proprio is methodological. The Pope's decree is meant to widen the space of freedom within the Church - creating a dilemma in church circles who have made of liturgical form a veritable war horse.

But in this way, the liturgical question is de-ideologized, and is left to develop in ways that do not exclude the possibility of reciprocal enrichment, a hope expressed by the pope in his letter to the bishops accompanying the Motu Proprio.

4. It is not superfluous to recall that, presiding over the unity of the Church in the pluriform manifestations of its life, is the Holy Spirit.

Ultimately, the Motu Proprio responds to the need not to
extinguish the Spirit, to examine every thing and hold on that which is good (cfr. 1 Thes 5, 19-21); and because of this, it is the expression of pastoral concern in its highest significance.

But the nexus of the Spirit with liturgy is also an intrinsic link.

The Holy Spirit is the true and invisible mystagogue who initiates us into the liturgical celebration, who leads the Church-Bride to encounter her Lord: "What else, in fact, is liturgy but the voices of the Holy Spirit and the Bride, the Holy Church, in unison, both saying, Come! What else is liturgy but the pure and perennial source of living water, from which everyone who thirsts can draw freely the gifts of God (cfr Jn 4,10)?" (John Paul II, Apostolic Letter 'Spiritus et Sponsa')

The orientation imposed by the Spirit is an elevation, urging us upward: in this - and only in this - can we find the remedy to the risk of reductions mentioned above, to the past-centered, future-centered or subject-centered nature of liturgy.

Liturgy is not about looking back or forward, or within oneself (by the individual or by the group). It is about looking up, to the Lord, who celebrates the heavenly, eternal liturgy, and who will come back from the East when he comes back to manifest himself in glory.

This is not the place to review all the liturgical instances that express this anagogy. Suffice it to remember that both forms of the Latin rite have the 'Sursum corda' [lift up your hearts] which goes back to a much older etradition before the Latin rite itself.

This invitation refers to the only kind of look appropriate to the Mystery that is celebrated at Mass. It is the look directed to "the King of the universe, invisibly escorted by the angelic ranks" (Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, Cherubic Hymn) and which requires a solemnity that is not only external: "Let us be in awe, let us tremble, let us be in the right mood and pay attention" (Eucharistic liturgy in the Armenian rite).

If it is coupled with the appropriate initiation to mystery, this upward look can guide the Church to the correct and fruitful celebration of the Mystery and lead Christians to live with joy the privilege of "attaining to Mt. Sion and the city of the living God, to the heavenyl Jerusalem and myriad angels, to the festive gathering and assembly of the first-born inscribed in the heavens, to God who is judge of all and to the spirits of the just brought to perfection, to the Mediator of the New Alliance and the blood shed by a voice more eloquent than that of Abel (Heb 12, 22-24).



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THE MOST BIZARRE DEFIANCE OF THE MASS MP

From Lella's blog, here are two stories in the Italian papers today which read like a parody but unfortunately report facts. :



Caserta bishop prohibits traditional Mass -
Parish priest obeys but says he disagrees

By Angelo Agrippa
Corriere del Mezzogiorno


NAPLES - He is known as the bishop of tolerance. Of immigrants. Of deprived persons. He has opened diocesan structures for Muslims to say their Friday prayers, and Ukrainian/Moldavian Orthodox to use for their worship.

But now he has prohibited the celebration of the 1962 Mass restored as of September 14 by Benedict XVI's Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

With a telephone call, Mons. Raffaele Nogaro ordered the rector of the Shrine of Sant'Anna in Caserta, Don Giovanni Battista Gionti, to stop the Mass he was planning to celebrate at 8 p.m. today.

"This case has nothing to do with tolerance," Nogaro said later.

"The Mass in Latin is a distortion of religious fact. Not even university professors who teach Latin pray in Latin. It is not an appropriate instrument for establishing a true relationship with God. To help people to pray is an honorable effort. That is what I try to do in allowing the Tent of Abraham to be used by Muslims and the chapel next to the Cathedral, to be used by the Orthodox.

"But to assail the faithful with sacred images, theatrical choreography and esthetic embellishments does the opposite. The faithful should be offered something valid and educational, not an occasion for disorientation. In short, murmuring prayers in Latin is good for nothing."


Strong words. A clear dissociation from Pope Benedict XVI's decree regarding the traditional Mass.

"The authority for the theological, liturgical and moral correctness of a diocese is the bishop," Nogaro continued, "even if the Pope has decreed an opening in favor of other rites. I am the only bishop in Campania who has asserted this so far to control the application of the Papal decree.

"Besides, the request of 30-40 persons is not sufficient in order for the traditional Mass to be celebrated. The parish priest is obliged to report it to his bishop. And I was never informed."


[Bishop Nogaro is, of course, blatantly wrong on every point he has raised!]

In his sacristy, Don Gionti is surrounded by many of those who had requested him for the traditional Mass, and is visibly disconcerted: "I will obey the bishop," he said, "even if this loses us the occasion for a liturgical experience that is important for our community, many of whom requested this. I considered it an experiment, certainly not a replacement for the post-Conciliar Mass.

"I think a priest should respond to a request by his congregation. But the bishop has ordered me to suspend the scheduled Mass, telling me that this would create a dangerous precedent. Though I still do not understand what danger he means."

In short, the Caserta case is everything but "Nulla veritas sine traditione" (Nothing is true outside tradition) as the followers of St. Pius V love to quote.

Fr. Louis Demornex, who studied at the Collegio Russium of Rome and has been the traditionalist parish priest of the Aulpi-Corigliani district in Sessa Auruna near Casertano, commented: "The Tridentine rite is not 'democratic' but for more than a millennium, it was the backbone of the Church. By destroying a traditional valid form of teh mass, one is tearing down the Church itself. The Pope knows this and that is why he issued this decree."

Nogaro, while protesting that he did not wish to be involved in any controversy, said further: "(Celebrating the traditional Mass) is like watching a statue passing in procession and simply admiring its artistic beauty. One cannot say that this is an act of faith or an occasion to inspire spirituality. [WHO THE HELL IS HE TO DECIDE WHAT ANYONE COULD POSSIBLY THINK?] This is what happens if we communicate in a language which no one knows at all, no one uses anymore, no one understands. The practice has nothing to do with the faith and someone must speak out on what the common thinking is about this."

[IS THIS BISHOP ILLITERATE OR WHAT? NO ONE IS REQUIRED TO ATTEND A TRADITIONAL MASS; BUT THOSE WHO WANT TO SHOULD BE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY! AND LIBERALIZING THE TRADITIONAL MASS IS NOT ABOUT THE USE OF LATIN!]

Corriere del Mezzogiorno, 16 settembre 2007


Lella, who like all Italians who finish high school at least, has studied Latin, comments: "Who does not know Latin? I challenge the good bishop to translate something by Cicero or Seneca - and let's see who can finish the translation first."



Here's the account in Libero:


The bishop of Caserta
blocks the traditional Mass

By CATERINA MANIACI


This bishop once said that the coffins of the Italian soldiers killed by terrorists in Nassiriyah, Iraq, should not be blessed, although he later denied saying it, but insisted that "the cult of martyrs and heroes of the nation should not be encouraged". He also he publicly denounced the sending of Italian troops to Afghanistan.

Now he will not allow the 1962 Mass to be celebrated in his diocese although it is not within his competence to do so, under Pope Benedict XVI's Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

The bishop of Caserta [a small city north of Naples, in the Campania region], Mons, Raffaele Nogaro, yesterday prohibited the rector of the Church of Sant'Anna from proceeding with a traditional Mass scheduled for tonight upon request of a group of faithful as provided by the Pope's decree.

The newspaper Roma reported the news yesterday based on an e-mail written by someone from Caserta to colleagues who were expecting to attend the traditional Mass today.

The e-mail read: "I have arrived in Caserta and am writing from an Internet point. I went to the Church of Sant'Anna and found this notice: 'The rector of the Sanctuary, having received the request from a stable group of faithful, had scheduled a Holy Mass in Latin for 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16. The bishop, having heard of this, has ordered that such celebration be suspended in order not to create a precedent.'"

This amounts to open disobedience to the clear provisions in Summorum Pontificum which does not involve the bishop in the process unless there is a dispute with the parish priest.

The aggrieved Catholics who have been denied their right to hear a traditional Mass if the parish priest agreed are planning to raise their objections to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, as provided by the Motu Proprio.

Libero, 16 settembre 2007


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This item is translated from PETRUS:

VATICAN CITY, Sept. 15 - Among the persons received in audience by Benedict XVI yesterday was Andrea Ricciardi, founder of the Sant'Egidio Community, who was accompanied by the Bishop of Terni, Mons. Vincenzo Paglia, and the president of the Community, Marco Impagliazzo.

Ricciardi informed the Pope about preparations for the Inter-religious Encounter for Peace sponsored by Sant'Egidio which takes place this year in Naples and opens On October 21, the day the Pope is making a pastoral visit to that city.

It is the 21st anniversary of the World Day of Inter-Religious Prayer for Peace held in Assisi, to which John Paul II had invited leaders of the world's principal religions.

Ricciardi confirmed the participation of the following leaders at the three-day meeting in Naples: Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I; the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan D. Williams; the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger; and the rector of al-Axzhar University in Cairo, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb.

The Pope will be meeting them at a luncheon to be held at the Major Seminary of Naples.

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16/09/2007 15.03
 
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VIS SATURDAY ROUND-UP


IRELAND: LASTING PEACE BUILT
ON FORGIVENESS, RECONCILIATION


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VATICAN CITY, SEP 15, 2007 (VIS) - Today, Benedict XVI received the Letters of Credence of Noel Fahey, the new ambassador of Ireland to the Holy See.

Speaking English, the Pope began his address to the diplomat by recalling how "for over 1600 years Christianity has shaped the cultural, moral and spiritual identity of the Irish people, ... and it remains as a 'leaven' in the life of your nation. Indeed, the Christian faith has lost nothing of its significance for contemporary society since it touches 'man's deepest sphere'." The Holy Father then turned to consider Ireland's recent economic growth, pointing out how "this prosperity has undoubtedly brought material comfort to many, but in its wake secularism has also begun to encroach and leave its mark."

Benedict XVI had words of praise for a recent initiative to promote a "structured dialogue" between Church and government in Ireland. "Some might question," he said, "whether the Church is entitled to make a contribution to the governance of a nation. In a pluralist democratic society should not faith and religion be restricted to the private sphere?"

"The Church, in articulating revealed truth," he stated, "serves all members of society by shedding light on the foundation of morality and ethics, and by purifying reason, ensuring that it remains open to the consideration of ultimate truths and draws upon wisdom. Far from threatening the tolerance of differences or cultural plurality, or usurping the role of the State, such a contribution illuminates the very truth which makes consensus possible and keeps public debate rational, honest and accountable.

"When truth is disregarded," he added, "relativism takes its place: instead of being governed by principles, political choices are determined more and more by public opinion, values are overshadowed by procedures and targets, and indeed the very categories of good and evil, and right and wrong, give way to the pragmatic calculation of advantage and disadvantage."

Benedict XVI went on to mention the fruits of the Northern Ireland Peace Process, which have been achieved "through widespread international support, determined political resolve on the part of both the Irish and the British Governments, and the readiness of individuals and communities to embrace the sublime human capacity to forgive. ... It is my fervent prayer that the peace which is already bringing renewal to the North will inspire political and religious leaders in other troubled zones of our world to recognize that only upon forgiveness, reconciliation and mutual respect can lasting peace be built."

"Ireland has in recent years made care of the environment one of its priorities in both domestic policy and international relations. The promotion of sustainable development and particular attention to climate change are indeed matters of grave importance for the entire human family, and no nation or business sector should ignore them." However, the Pope noted, "while the majesty of God's hand in creation is readily recognized, the full acknowledgement of the glory and splendor with which He has specifically crowned man is at times less readily understood.

"A kind of split morality ensues," he continued. "The great and vital moral themes of peace, non-violence, justice, and respect for creation do not in themselves confer dignity on man. The primary dimension of morality stems from the innate dignity of human life - from the moment of conception to natural death - a dignity conferred by God Himself."

"How disturbing it is that not infrequently the very social and political groups that, admirably, are most attuned to the awe of God's creation pay scant attention to the marvel of life in the womb. Let us hope that, especially among young people, emerging interest in the environment will deepen their understanding of the proper order and magnificence of God's creation of which man and woman stand at the center and summit."



POOR CLARES:
A GREAT CONTRIBUTION TO WORK OF CHURCH


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VATICAN CITY, SEP 15, 2007 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received in audience the Poor Clares from the convent of the Immaculate Conception at Albano, which is located within the territory of the pontifical villas at Castelgandolfo.

Addressing the nuns, Benedict XVI expressed his gratitude "for your daily support through prayer, and for your intense spiritual participation in the mission of the Pastor of the Universal Church. In the silence of the cloister and in the total and exclusive giving of self to Christ in accordance with the Franciscan charism, you provide a valuable service to the Church."

"The Pope expects you to be burning torches of love, your hands joined in a vigil of incessant prayer, completely detached from the world in order to sustain the ministry of he whom Jesus has called to guide His Church."

"Not always," said the Pope, "is public opinion aware of the silent dedication of people who, like you, seek to put the Gospel into effect 'sine glossa' with simplicity and joy. Nonetheless, you may be sure that the contribution you make to the apostolic and missionary activity of the Church in the world is truly extraordinary, and God will continue to bless you with the gift of many vocations, as He has up to now."

"May St. Francis, St. Clare and the many male and female saints of your order help you to 'persevere faithfully unto the end' in your vocations," the Pope concluded. "May the Virgin of Sorrows grant you the gift of following her divine crucified Son and of embracing with serenity the difficulties and trials of daily life."



OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, SEP 15, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

- As members of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura: Cardinals Carlo Caffarra, archbishop of Bologna, Italy and Attilio Nicora, president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, and Bishop Giuseppe Versaldi of Alessandria, Italy.

- Cardinal Agostino Vallini, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, as president of the Commission for Advocates.

- Archbishop Marco Dino Brogi O.F.M., as consultor of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.





[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 17/09/2007 15.10]
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