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6/22/2008 3:05 PM
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In the preceding page, earlier today, I posted
- OR's Page 1 story today on Pope Benedict's thanks to Cardinal Camillo Ruini who retired as
the Pope's Vicar in Rome as of last night, along with Italian media stories on the retirement, and
- An anticipatuion of the Pope's participation in the concluding Mass of the 49th International
Eucharistic Congress in Quebec today.

After the Vatican posted the texts today, I have since added translations of
- The Pope's very unusual letter to Cardinal Ruini; and
- The Pope's pre-recorded video message to the young people at the conclusion of the adoration
rites in the 49th IEC last night.

So far, the Vatican has not posted the text of the Pope's homily at the Concluding Mass
of the 49th EIC this noon.



A full translation of the Holy Father's words at Angelus today has been posted in AUDIENCE & ANGELUS TEXTS.

The Holy Father delivered a mini-homily on today's Gospel before the noonday Angelus today. Here is
what the Holy Father said in English:

Today’s Gospel reminds us that we are personally loved by our heavenly Father, whose providence
watches over us and frees us from all fear.

May these consoling words strengthen us in our witness to the joy and hope proclaimed by the Gospel!

Upon you and your families I cordially invoke the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Pope Benedict XVI also reminded everyone that on Saturday evening, June 28, he will open the Pauline
Year, marking the bimillenary of the Apostle's birth, at Vespers in St. the Basilica of St. Paul
outside the Walls.

After the Angelus prayer today, Benedict XVI had two special messages, translated here:

With great emotion I learned today of the sinking of a ferryboat in the Philippines due to typhoon
Fenchen which has afflicted that zone. [Hundreds are believed to have drowned.]

As I assure the people hit by the typhoon of my spiritual nearness, I raise a special prayer to the Lord
for the victims of this new sea tragedy among which were many children.

Today in Beirut, capital of Lebanon, Yaaqub (Jacob) da Ghazir Haddad nee Khalil, a priest of the Order
of the Capuchin Order of Friars Minor, who founded the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Cross
of Lebanon, was proclaimed Blessed.

In expressing my felicitations to his spiritual children, I hope with all my heart that the intercession
of Blessed Abuna Yaaqub, united with those of the Lebanese saints, may obtain that this beloved and
tormented nation, which has suffered so much, may finally progress towards a stable peace.


Here is AP's caption story:

More than 10,000 faithful including top officials gathered in Beirut to witness the beatification of a Maronite
Catholic priest who died 54 years ago. Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, head of the Vatican's sainthood office,
who is representing Pope Benedict XVI led the open-air Mass service. In the background is the Mohammed
al-Amin mosque.

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/22/2008 10:47 PM]
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6/22/2008 10:54 PM
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The full text of the homily, with the French portions translated to English, has been posted in HOMILIES, DISCOURSES, MESSAGES.

Around noon today (EST), by satellite feed from Rome, the Holy Father delivered a bilingual homily in English and French at the concluding Mass of the 49th International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City.

The Mass was presided over by Cardinal Josef Tomko, the Pope's legate to the Congress, and was attended by at least 50,000 people in Quebec City's Plains of Abraham, under driving rain.

Pope calls for study of Eucharistic mystery,
encourages looking back to
Vatican-II's 'Sacrosanctum Concilium'

QUEBEC CITY, JUNE 22, 2008 ( Benedict XVI is encouraging the faithful to revisit the Second Vatican Council constitution on the liturgy, Sancrosanctum Concilium, so as to go deeper in the mystery of faith that is the Eucharist.

The Pope made this appeal today when he delivered via satellite the homily for the closing Mass of the 49th International Eucharistic Congress, which ended today in Quebec. The papal legate, Cardinal Jozef Tomko, presided over the Mass.

In his address, given in French and English, the Holy Father said, "'The Mystery of Faith': this we proclaim at every Mass. I would like everyone to make a commitment to study this great mystery, especially by revisiting and exploring, individually and in groups, the Council's text on the liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, so as to bear witness courageously to the mystery."

The Pontiff affirmed that such study would help each person "arrive at a better grasp of the meaning of every aspect of the Eucharist, understanding its depth and living it with greater intensity."

"Every sentence, every gesture has its own meaning and conceals a mystery," Benedict XVI continued. "I sincerely hope that this Congress will serve as an appeal to all the faithful to make a similar commitment to a renewal of Eucharistic catechesis, so that they themselves will gain a genuine Eucharistic awareness and will in turn teach children and young people to recognize the central mystery of faith and build their lives around it.

"I urge priests especially to give due honor to the Eucharistic rite, and I ask all the faithful to respect the role of each individual, both priest and lay, in the Eucharistic action. The liturgy does not belong to us: It is the Church's treasure."

The Pope noted the unifying effects of the Eucharist, both for the faithful with the Trinity and within the Church.

"Reception of the Eucharist, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament - by this we mean deepening our communion, preparing for it and prolonging it - is also about allowing ourselves to enter into communion with Christ, and through him with the whole of the Trinity, so as to become what we receive and to live in communion with the Church," the Holy Father said.

And he added: "We must never forget that the Church is built around Christ and that, as Sts. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas and Albert the Great have all said, following St. Paul, the Eucharist is the sacrament of the Church's unity, because we all form one single body of which the Lord is the head.

"We must go back again and again to the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, where we were given a pledge of the mystery of our redemption on the cross. The Last Supper is the locus of the nascent Church, the womb containing the Church of every age. In the Eucharist, Christ's sacrifice is constantly renewed, Pentecost is constantly renewed."

The Pontiff also expressed his desire that Christians would come to value Sunday more and more.

"May all of you become ever more deeply aware of the importance of the Sunday Eucharist," he said, "because Sunday, the first day of the week, is the day when we honor Christ, the day when we receive the strength to live each day the gift of God."

The Pope also announced that the next International Eucharistic Congress, scheduled for 2012, will be held in Dublin, Ireland.

"As this significant event in the life of the Church draws to a conclusion I invite you all to join me in praying for the success of the next International Eucharistic Congress, which will take place in 2012 in the city of Dublin," the Holy Father said. He took the opportunity "to greet warmly the people of Ireland, as they prepare to host this ecclesial gathering."

"I am confident that they, together with all the participants at the next congress, will find it a source of lasting spiritual renewal," he said.

Attending the Congress in Quebec, Cardinal Sean Brady, archbishop of Armagh, and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, welcomed the news.

They said in a statement: "On behalf of the Catholic faithful of Ireland, we are honored and humbled that the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has chosen Dublin to host the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in 2012.

"While the theme for the next congress has yet to be finalized, we are deeply conscious that 2012 also marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

"The hosting of the congress in Dublin will be an international event. The celebration will attract thousands of pilgrims and will enable Catholics at home and abroad to meet, pray together and discuss issues of faith."

This is the second time that Dublin will host the congress; the Irish hosted the 31st congress in 1932.

"We live in different times now," the prelates said in their statement, "and it is our hope that the 2012 congress will be an opportunity for the Catholic Church in Ireland to both reflect on the centrality of the Eucharist at the heart of our increasingly diverse community, and, to give renewed impetus to the living of faith."


Am I wrong, or wasn't this the first Papal homily telecast to a congregation in a different location from the homilist?

P.S. How admirable that the Holy Father has called on everyone to go back to Sacrosanctum Concilium, which the most militant advocates of the 1970 liturgical reforms appear to have completely ignored - or rather, chosen to 'interpret' in their own way, even to the point of directly contradicting it on many specific provisions such as those on the use of Latin and sacred music, and reading into it the abrogation of the traditional Mass!

The Vatican has now released the text of the Pope's homily, in which he makes a very telling statement: "The Eucharistic celebration is not a meal among friends - it is a mystery of alliance."

I will post the homily with a translation of the French portions as soon as I can.

6/23/08 P.S.

Father Z on the unusual circumstances
of yesterday's homily

Video-cap by Fr. Z.

...I think this raises interesting questions about the role of the sermon in Mass.

It was the custom for the priest to remove his maniple before going to preach and making the sign of the Cross at the beginning and end. It was as if he stepped out of the Mass for a moment and suspended time.

Then, after the Council, there was a great stress that the sermon was part of Mass, and so had to be tied to the readings, feast, etc.

I have also heard some people object to priests (deacons) preaching if they are not one of the sacred ministers.

I am sure Fr. Z did not mean any personal objections of his own at all, but is simply anticipating what some 'letter-of-the-rubric' militants might say.

If one must be technical about it, might one say that since the principal celebrant of the Mass, Cardinal Tomko in this case, was the designated Papal Legate (i.e., standing for the Holy Father) to the 49th IEC, the Holy Father was therefore a minister in that particular Mass?

BTW, I looked in vain during the coverage of yesterday's Mass for Archbishop Marini, who made his actual 'debut' at the 49th IEC as president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses. It was obvious the altar was definitely not in the 'Benedictine' arrangement. And Mons. Marini's new role certainly does not give him the ubiquitous visibility he had as Papal Ceremonial Master.

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/24/2008 6:07 AM]
6/23/2008 1:13 AM
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Papa by Satellite Feed

I believe you are correct.  It's not the first time for Papa to "appear" by satellite feed since he's done it before when he meets with the University students for a Marian encounter.  But this seems to be the first time for an actual homily.

I'm very impressed that our Holy Father is open to doing this kind of media-feed and I think possibly it came about because if you remember, there was even a petition from Quebec for him to attend in person when it became clear that three transatlantic flights were just not possible for him in the space of 3 months (U.S. in April, Quebec in June and Australia in July).  So, appearing by virtual homily was a very nice alternative.

Even during his U.S. trip, I found a radio spot he did for Sirius Radio.  I was shocked ... it was so odd to hear our own Holy Father say "Sirius Radio" .. but what a great example of using creative new media to reach more faithful and especially in the light of his recent talk to radio communicators.  And, even the text messsaging for WYD08 pilgrims is an innovation.

He certainly seems open and determined to have his message heard, even in "young" media style.  If only the Vatican Press Office would catch up with him!

[SM=g27823] [SM=g27823] [SM=g27823] [SM=g27823]

6/23/2008 3:37 PM
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The Vatican's 'ultimatum' to the Lefebvrians:
Accept Vatican-II in exchange
for a 'personal prelature'
but decide by June 28

By Andrea Tornielli
Translated from

June 23, 2008

A countdown has started in relations between the Holy See and the Lefebvrians: By June 29, the Fraternity of St. Pius X (SSPX), founded by French Mons. Marcel Lefebvre in opposition to the reforms of Vatican-II, must decide whether to accept five conditions proposed by the Vatican for full communion with Rome.

A few days ago, the current SSPX leader, Mons. Bernard Fellay, met with Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, president of the Ecclesia Dei Commission which is the Vatican liaison with traditionalist groups.

Fellay wrote Benedict XVI earlier asking for a revocation of the excommunication order issued by John Paul II in 1988 for Lefebvre and the four bishops (including Fellay) whom he ordained without the approval of the Holy See.

In reply, Fellay got a letter from Cardinal Castrillon listing the five conditions which will be discussed by the SSPX at their coming chapter meeting before the end of the month.

Negotiations between the two sides have never before reached such a point which could lead to a healing of the mini-schism of the past 20 years in the Church.

According to sources, among the points that the Holy See would require is that SSPX accept the Second Vatican Council, including the full validity of the Mass celebrated according to the resulting liturgical reform.

Both conditions had been agreed to by the late Mons. Lefebvre in negotiations conducted in 1988 by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger but Lefebvre had a last-minute change of mind.

For its part, the Vatican is offering the SSPX a canonical status similar to Opus Dei - a personal prelature which will allow the fraternity to continue with its activities and train seminarians.

The rapprochement began in 2000 when the Lefebvrians made a pilgrimage to Rome for the Great Jubilee of 2000. Papa Wojtyla at the time gave a brief audience to Mons. Fellay, which started the long and so far laborious negotiations through Ecclesia Dei.

Many things have changed since then. The Lefebvrians had requested, before taking any step towards an agreement, for the 'liberalization' of teh traditional Mass which had fallen into disuse since the 1970 liturgical reform.

Benedict XVI last year published a Motu Proprio that affirmed the full legitimacy of the traditional Mass in the Universal Church, allowing its celebration in every parish without the need for the local bishop's approval.

The execution of the Motu Proprio has met with various resistances - some of them remarkable - but beyond doubt, Pope Benedict XVI has made clear that the Roman rite exists in two forms - the extraordinary (traditional Mass) and the ordinary form (Novus Ordo).

Moreover, Papa Ratzinger has restored the Crucifix to the center of the altar, he has started to give Communion to the faithful in teh traditional manner (the communicant kneels and receives the Host on the tongue), and has revived traditional liturgical garments - all intended to underscore his interpretation of Vatican-II as continuity within tradition.

Such conditions should be favorable for a return to full communion by the Lefebvrians. Many traditionalists do not understand why the SSPX has continued to defy Rome despite the Pope's actions.

The community is aware of this even though Fellay has problems of internal resistance. The choice is to agree and regain full communion with Rome, or to remain a tiny separate group which risks becoming simply sectarian and completely uninfluential.


This is a surprising development in the light of recent statements attributed to Mons. Fellay that appeared to indicate an even more resolute opposition to Vatican-II, particularly its position on religious freedom.

P.S. Gregor Kolllmorgen at New Liturgical Movement provides a translation of a brief reaction story that appeared in French and German and which I do not now have the time to check out myself. Here is NLM's post:

Confirmation of the offer,
but no indication of the response

Menzingen, 23 June 2008 (Apic) - The Vatican has proposed an agreement to the Priestly Society of St. Pius X to end the schism, reported on 23 June 2008 the Italian daily Il Giornale.

Asked Monday by Apic, Father Alain-Marc Nély, second assistant of Bishop Bernard Fellay, the superior of the Society of St. Pius X in Menzingen (canton of Zug), has indeed confirmed the existence of proposals on the part of the Vatican.

Not wanting to go into further details, Fr Nély, however, confirmed that a proposal of an agreement was made at the beginnig of this month. With conditions.

The answer will be given by June 28 "God willing", and will then be made public, he said. But the number three of the schismatic fraternity did not want to indicate in what direction the response of Bishop Fellay would go.

But at
they have posted translations of references to the Vatican offer by Bishop Fellay in a June 20 sermon and another SSPX priest in a June 22 sermon, in which they sound dismissive as ever, even contemptuous, of the Vatican offer!


About the traditional Mass itself, one must take note of an alarming report from Canada which came out just as the 49th IEC was drawing to a close, and which Father Zuhlsdorf reports on his blog and comments on, as follows.

21 June 2008
Bishop Rivest of Chicoutimi:
'I’m in charge here, not Benedict XVI - no TLM!'

By Father John Zuhsldorf o{]:¬)

I received an alarming note with a translation of a story in French from the site DICI about how His Excellency Most Reverend André Rivest, Bishop of Chicoutimi in Canada, has a very different view of Summorum Pontificum than some other bishops, as… for example… the Bishop of Rome, Benedict XVI:

Over 100 people, perhaps as many as 130, requested the TLM from their pastor in accordance with SP 5.1. The priest refused and consulted the bishop. The bishop is refusing to help these people. As a matter of fact, he is stating that he won’t implement SP in his diocese and that appealing to Rome is just a waste of everyone’s time because he, not the Pope, is in charge in that place.

The part I really like is where it is stated that the Pope says that the bishop must examine whether the persons requesting (not only the priests!) have a liturgical training and a ‘certain familiarity’ with the ‘extraordinary form’ of the Latin rite, as well as a good knowledge of the Latin language.

No. Really. That wasn’t a slip-up. Because it continues to say: "among the signatories, very few can meet these criteria.”


Perhaps we should have a look at what I received with my emphases and comments [in yellow].

Canada: Bishop Opposes Motu Proprio
June 21, 2008

The bishop of Chicoutimi, André Rivest, is opposed to the Tridentine Mass and will not apply the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum in his diocese, in spite of the request addressed to the parish priest of Sacred Heart Church, Msgr Jean-Roch Gaudin by 130 faithful. This latter, in his parish bulletin, gave the good reasons for not applying the Motu Proprio. Here are some of the most significant excerpts:

“… A month ago, a petition signed by 100 persons was handed to me, requesting permission for one Mass a month in the ‘extraordinary form’, in one of the three churches of the parish, preferably the church of Christ the King. According to the Motu Proprio, I was entitled to grant the request. [Indeed, yes.]

But as the signatories were hailing from various parishes of the diocese, and out of solidarity with the pastoral policy of the whole diocese, I thought it right to consult with Bishop André Rivest, the first Pastor of the diocese, and at the same time to give him the petition so that he may give a diocesan orientation on this issue.

Bishop Rivest consulted with his Presbyteral Council (composed of various priest of the diocese) on Monday, May 19 last, and the next day he phoned me and said he thought it good not to grant permission to celebrate Mass in the ‘extraordinary form’” in the diocese for the following reasons:

a. The Motu Proprio says: In parishes, where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962” (art. 5, § 1). Neither in the parish of the Sacred Heart, nor in the diocese is there any stable group. The signatories of the petition do not constitute a stable group, a permanent group, a community as such, but a collection of persons from all over the diocese, and who, in their great majority, have no continual relationships between them. [Remember what Card. Castrillon clarified… what WDTPRS has been saying all along: a group can be as small as three people. Also, if there are over 100 who signed, that means that in the diocese, if not that parish, there are a signifant number of people who made a request. Again, as Card. Castillon said, they need not be from the same parish.]

b. The bishop has the role of preserving the unity in the diocese and he has authority and responsibility over the liturgy and the pastoral care of the faithful. The permission to celebrate Masses in the ‘extraordinary form’ will be a source of division among priests and faithful, and the impact of such a celebration may well be negative. [I see. Without the slightest amount of actual experience, they have already decided. That sure isn’t divisive… no no.]

c. Among the criteria put forward by the Holy Father in his Motu Proprio, the bishop must examine whether the persons requesting [!] and the priests themselves have a liturgical training and a ‘certain familiarity’ with the ‘extraordinary form’ of the Latin rite, as well as a good knowledge of the Latin language, [did you get that? "the persons requesting" must be examined by the bishop to determine if they have enough familiarity with the rite and with Latin?] something which Pope Benedict XVI himself deems necessary for a fruitful celebration in ‘the extraordinary form.’ Now, among the signatories, very few can meet these criteria.” [No. No. No, again. This is an entirely false reading of Summorum Pontificum. On can understand that a priest must be idoneus, but this canonical requirement cannot be applied to the lay faithful. Let’s just ask people what the Gospel reading was as they are leaving church after it was read in the vernacular in the Novus Ordo and see what sort of reaction you might get. Let’s text priests as to what the texts say. This is an obvious misreading… probably purposeful of Summorum Pontificum. I have a hard time imagining that they could get this wrong by accident.]

And the parish priest concluded: “After having consulted with my parish team, I am in complete agreement with the stand taken by Bishop Rivest who has asked me to let you know his decision. Consequently, I do not allow the celebration of the Mass in its ‘extraordinary form’ in the parish of the Sacred Heart” and he added that “persons desiring to attend such a Mass” could go to a church in the city of Québec, 125 miles from Chicoutimi. [Nice.]

In order to discourage any attempt at a recourse with the Ecclesia Dei Commission, as it is foreseen by the Motu Proprio, Msgr. Gaudin answered in advance: “It is not the pope who is the first person responsible for pastoral care and the liturgy in the diocese, but the bishop. And the popes usually respect this responsibility, unless there are some very, very, very serious reasons. The pope will certainly not intervene in this affair and will certainly not oblige our bishop to have a Tridentine Mass in the diocese. He will only ask him for additional information and respect his decision. The bishop will have lost time uselessly.”

Folks…. this is pretty bad.

This is a finger in the eye of the Pope, and you know which finger too.

I say… get to work and waste that bishop’s valuable time.

I suspect that people sending original printed material from that parish with these statements will receive a very interested hearing in Rome.

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/24/2008 1:17 PM]
6/23/2008 4:31 PM
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22 publishers in 11 nations
already want translation rights

The book published by the Vatican publishing house goes on sale in Italy starting today but already there's a great demand for it... In fact, the LEV site still does not contain an entry about the book at all!

VATICAN CITY, June 23 (Translated from Apcom) - Twenty-two publishing houses in 11 countries have already bid for translation and publication rights abroad of Benedict XVI's new book I Padri della Chiesa: Da Clemente Romano a Sant'Agostino which is a collection of the first part of the Holy Father's ongoing catechetical cycle on the Fathers of the Church.

The 238-page volume, published by Libreria Editrice Vaticana, contains a gallery of 26 portraits dedicated to the most outstanding Christian authors and teachers in teh first five centuries of Christianity.

A note form LEV says: "Through the words of the Pope, the Fathers hand down to us, Christians of the third millennium, the Gospel of salvation which shaped their hearts and their lives, so that faith, hope and love may win over the resistances of the world."

The book goes on sale in Italy today at 14 euro.

6/24/2008 3:39 AM
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THE POPE'S DAY, 6/23/08

The Holy Father met today with
- His Highness Fra’ Matthew Festing, Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta,
with his delegation
- Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity
- Mons. Francesco Monterisi, Secretary of the Congregation for Bishops
- Mons. Anselmo Guido Pecorari, Apostolic Nuncio in Uruguay.



The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff announced today that Benedict XVI will preside at first Vespers at 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, eve of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, to inaugurate the Pauline Year (2008-2009) in the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls.

The ceremony will be attended by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and by representatives of other Churches and Christian communities.


It's hard not to draw the obvious contrast between the attitudes of Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople - first among equals among the Orthodox Primates, being the Patriarch of Constantinople, which is historically the original seat of the Orthodox Church - and Patriarch Alexei-II of Moscow, which is ranked fifth in historical precedence among the Orthodox world's 'autocephalous' (usually national) churches. [What he vaunts is numbers - the Russian Church has almost as many members as all the other Orthodox Churches combined, but the Church hierarchy does not depend on numbers!]

Since inviting Pope Benedict to Istanbul in November 2006, Bartholomew has met him twice in Italy (in Naples last October and in the Vatican earlier this year). Of course, he has a 'direct' interest in the Pauline Year celebration because Paul was born in Tarsus which is in present-day Turkey and did important missionary work in Asia Minor, also now part of modern Turkey.

Still, we have Alexei-II who will not even consider a meeting with Benedict XVI unless there is something 'substantive' to announce on a rapprochement between the Catholic and Russian Orthodox positions about eventual Christian reunification.

But why must a meeting be tied to such a condition? What is wrong with just meeting as a gesture of goodwill - as most diplomatic meetings generally are?

Alexei-II refused to consider such a meeting with John Paul II because, it is said, of historic Russian mistrust of the Poles. That was a most unfortunate projection of historic grievances onto the person of John Paul II.

Now, his pretext for refusing to meet Benedict is that there is nothing 'substantive' to announce about Catholic-Russian Orthodox relations. But that may never come about in his lifetime, because he's been throwing down all sorts of obstacles, imagined and otherwise, to rapprochement.

Benedict XVI has met with the Archbishop of Canterbury at least twice - and no one was under any illusion that the meetings were anything more than friendly occasions, and not because Catholics and Anglicans have come any closer to reunification.

So why does Alexei-II - if he feels so strongly against seeing the Pope, any Pope, in Moscow, as if it was a challenge to the Russian Orthodox Church - not consider at least meeting Benedict on neutral ground, as has been speculated about, purely as a gesture of goodwill - and make that very clear from the start?

I don't think the Russian Orthodox faithful would consider that he is giving up something, much less betraying the Russian Orthodox faith, simply by meeting the Pope. One has to conclude there is no good will on his part, despite all the lip service, which is usually of the 'one step forwar5d, two steps back' kind!

I have to check back to see whether Bartholomew came to Rome for teh 2000 Jubilee of Christianity, but I don't have to check to know that Alexei-II would not have considered the second millenary anniversary of the Birth of Christ important enough to have come to Rome to join the celebrations, especially since they were led by John Paul II.

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/24/2008 4:23 AM]
6/24/2008 1:42 PM
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Patriarch Bartholomew's participation in this weekend celebrations in Rome will mark further unprecedented steps in Carholic-Orthodox relations, according to this notification today, translated here.


On Sunday, June 29, Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, the Holy Father Benedict XVI will celebrate the Eucharist at 9:30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, with the participation of the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I.

The Patriarch and the Holy Father will deliver the homily, recite the profession of faith [the Creed] together and impart the blessing.

Concelebrating with the Holy Father are the new Metropolitan Archbishops on whom the Pontiff will impose the sacred Pallium at the Confessio (Altar) of the Apostle Peter.

Additional information from
the Italian service of

The Metropolitan Archbishops who will receive the Pallium are:

- Cardinale John Njue, Nairobi (Kenya)
- Mons. Fouad Twal, Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins
- Mons. Michel Christian Cartatéguy, Niamey (Niger)
- Mons. Edwin Frederick O’Brien, Baltimore (USA)
- Mons. Francisco Pérez González, Pamplona-Tudela (Spain)
- Mons. Lorenzo Voltolini Esti, Portoviejo (Ecuador)
- Mons. Paolo Pezzi, Mother of God Cathedral, Moscow
- Mons. Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, Minsk-Mohilev (Belarus)
- Mons. Andrés Stanovnik, Corrientes (Argentina)
- Mons. Anthony Mancini, Halifax (Canada)
- Mons. Martin William Currie, Saint John’s, Newfoundland (Canada)
- Mons. Mauro Aparecido dos Santos, Cascavel (Brazil)
- Mons. Giancarlo Maria Bregantini, Campobasso–Boiano (Italy)
- Mons. John Hung Shan-Chuan, Taipei (Taiwan)
- Mons. Matthew Man-Oso Ndagoso, Kaduna (Nigeria)
- Mons. Reinhard Marx, Munich-Freising
- Mons. Óscar Urbina Ortega, Villavicencio (Colombia)
- Mons. Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
- Mons. Willem Jacobus Eijk, Utrecht (Netherlands)
- Mons. Antonio José López Castello, Barquisimeto (Venezuela)
- Mons. Richard Anthony Burke, Benin City (Nigeria)
- Mons. Agustin Roberto Radrizzani, Mercedes-Uján (Argentina)
- Mons. José Francisco Sanches Alves, Évora (Portugal)
- Mons. Ján Babjak, Prešov of the Catholics of the Byzantine Rite (Slovakia)
- Mons. Giovanni Paolo Benotto, Pisa (Italy)
- Mons. Stanislav Zvolenský, Bratislava (Slovakia)
- Mons. Robert Rivas, Castries (Saint Lucia)
- Mons. Francesco Montenegro, Agrigento (Italy)
- Mons. Louis Kébreau, Cap Haïtien (Haïti)
- Mons. Joseph Serge Miot, Port au Prince (Haïti)
- Mons. Laurent Ulrich, Lille (France)
- Mons. John Ribat, Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea)
- Mons. Thomas Kwaku Mensah, Kumasi (Ghana)
- Mons. Thomas John Rodi, Mobile, Alabama (USA)
- Mons. Donald James Reece, Kingston (Jamaica)
- Mons. Sławoj Leszek Głodz, Gdańsk (Poland)
- Mons. Peter J. Kairo, Nyeri (Kenya)
- Mons. John Clayton Nienstedt, Saint Paul-Minneapolis
- Mons. John Lee Hiong Fun-Yit Yaw, Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia)
- Mons. Luís Gonzaga Silva Pepeu, Vitória da Conquista (Brazil), and
- Mons. Marin Srakić, Djakovo-Osijek (Croatia).

Two prelates will receive the pallium in their metropolitan seats:
- Mons. William d’Souza, Patna (India), and
- Mons. Edward Tamba Charles, Freetown-Bo (Sierra Leone).

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/24/2008 3:54 PM]
6/24/2008 9:17 PM
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The five conditions from the Vatican
to the SSPX for 'full communion'

By Andrea Tornielli
Translated from his blog

June 24, 2008

I have come into possession of the five conditions placed to Mons. Fellay for a return to full communion with Rome.

Contrary to initial speculation, they do not refer to acceptance of Vatican-II or the Novus Ordo - which were previously set general conditions.

The Holy See, showing great generosity, asks the SSPX to refrain from attacking the Pope personally. Since Mons. Fellay has asked Benedict XVI for a revocation of the excommunication [of Fellay and three other bishops consecrated by the late Mons. Lefebvre in 1988 without the approval of the Vatican], the request to respect the Pope's authority without claiming to possess a Magisterium 'superior' to the actual Pontiff's seems to me a common- sense condition.

This is the text of the note signed by the president of the Ecclesia Dei Commission (Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos:

Conditions resulting from the meeting on June 4, 2008, between Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos and Bishop Bernard Fellay:
1. Commitment to a response that is proportionate to the Pope's generosity.
2. Commitment to avoid every public statement that does not respect the person of the Holy Father and which may be negative in terms of ecclesial charity.
3. Commitment to avoid claiming a Magisterium superior to that of the Holy Father and not to propose the SSPX as an opposition to the Church.
4. Commitment to demonstrate goodwill to act honestly in full ecclesial charity and respecting the authority of the Vicar of Christ.
5. Commitment to respect the date- fixed for the end of June - for a positive response. This is a required and necessary condition as an immediate preparation for the agreement to have full communion.

New Catholic at
has since acquired a copy of the Cardinal's letter, written in French - Tornielli's Italian translation was faithful, so it does not change anything in the English translation. Interesting to note that the note has no salutation:

RORATE CAELI also provides a link to an FSSP (Fraternity of St. Peter, the Wigratzbad-based traditionalist group established by pontifical right) site for the May 5, 1988 protocol agreement that was actually signed between Cardinal Ratzinger and Mons. Lefebvre, but which, as the short introduction to the text says, "the Archbishop renounced the protocol, before proceeding with episcopal consecrations on 30 June 1988 in the absence of a pontifical mandate and against the wishes of the Supreme Pontiff". I still do not know what made Lefebvre change his mind.

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/26/2008 12:21 AM]
6/25/2008 1:32 AM
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THE POPE'S DAY, 6/24/08

Unusual for a Tuesday, the Holy Father met today with
- Bishops of Honduras, led by Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, on ad limina visit.

The Holy Father also appointed
- Cardinal William Joseph Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,
- Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, India, and
- Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, Archbishop of Sao Paulo, Brazil, as presidents delegate of the 12th
Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to be held in the Vatican from 5 to 26 October
on the theme: "The Word of God in the Life and the Mission of the Church".

The Vatican released the English text of a letter by Pope Benedict XVI to the participants of
the 7th general assembly of the Catholic Bible Federation in Dar-Salaam, Tanzania, from June 24-July 3.

Pope says Biblical group's meeting
shows love for Africa

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 24, 2008 ( Benedict XVI says that the Catholic Biblical Federation plenary assembly beginning today in Tanzania transmits a message of love of the Bible and love of Africa.

The Pope affirmed this in a letter dated June 12 and sent to Bishop Vincenzo Paglia of Terni-Narni-Amelia, Italy, president of the Catholic Biblical Federation.

The federation has a plenary assembly every six years. This year's assembly is under way in Dar es Salaam, capital of Tanzania, through July 3. It is on "The Word of God: Source of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace."

"The fact that your meeting is being held in Dar-es-Salaam is an important gesture of solidarity with the Church in Africa, more so in view of next year's special Synod for Africa," the Holy Father said. "The message you bring to Dar es Salaam is clearly a message of love of the Bible and love of Africa.

"The theme of your general assembly draws attention to how God's word can restore humanity in reconciliation, justice and peace. This is the word of life that the Church has to offer to a broken world. […] May the African continent set the context for the 'lectio divina' which will assist you in these days and may your efforts help the Church in Africa to 'pursue its evangelizing mission, in order to bring the peoples of the continent to the Lord, teaching them to observe all that he has commanded.'"

The Pontiff added: "It is only Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, who through the Holy Spirit, can open our minds to understand the Scriptures. I warmly encourage you therefore not only to continue to make known the profound relevance of the Scriptures to the contemporary experience of Catholics and particularly to the younger generations, but also to lead them to interpret them from the central perspective of Christ and his paschal mystery."

"All Christians are called to imitate the openness of Mary who received the Word of God 'in her heart and in her body and gave Life to the world,'" Benedict XVI continued. "May the peoples of Africa receive this word as the life-giving source of reconciliation and justice, and especially of the true peace that comes only from the risen Lord."



One may judge the importance attached by the Holy Father to the conference on the Bible in Tanzania by the fact that his letter is the lead story in today's issue of L'Osservatore Romano:

OR today.

The Annunciation, traditional Ethiopian painting on fabric.
Pope's letter to Catholic Bible Federation meeting in Dar-es-Salaam:
'In Africa, reconciliation will come from the Word of God'

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/25/2008 2:41 PM]
6/25/2008 6:37 AM
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Pope paves way for Irish visit

Belfast Telegraph
[Published: Monday 23, June 2008 - 08:51]

The possibility of a papal visit to Ireland next year has heightened following Pope Benedict's announcement that Dublin will host the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in 2012.

The Pope's surprise selection of Dublin was broadcast live by telecast yesterday from Rome to pilgrims attending the final Mass of the 49th Congress in Quebec, Canada.

Although popes usually send special delegates to the congresses, which are held every four years, Pope Benedict's choice of Dublin has renewed expectations in Church circles that he will accept the invitation from the Irish bishops to come here next year.

Last night a high-level Church source told the Irish Independent that Pope Benedict's visit would give an enormous boost to the build-up for the congress, the first to be held in Ireland since 1932.

His visit would help the Irish Church's recovery after the revelations in recent years of the extent of clerical child sex abuse, especially if the Pontiff expressed sorrow as firmly as he did during his recent trip to the United States.

Hopes of Pope Benedict coming here in 2009, the 30th anniversary of the historic visit of Pope John Paul II, were kindled last January when the German Pontiff told Cardinal Sean Brady that he hoped to visit Ireland.

While no date has been fixed by the Vatican, Irish church sources last night predicted that the odds on a papal visit next year had shortened.

Welcoming the Pope's choice of Dublin for the 2012 Congress "on behalf of the Catholic faithful of Ireland," Cardinal Sean Brady and the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, said they were "honoured and humbled".

In a joint statement issued from Quebec, the two Church leaders said that the hosting of the congress in Dublin will attract thousands of pilgrims for the week-long event which they hope will help revive Catholicism in Ireland.

The two leaders invited parishes throughout Ireland to begin preparations for the Congress which they described as "an occasion which will enable Catholics at home and abroad to meet, pray together and discuss issues of faith".

"Over the next four years, parishes are invited to suggest how best to celebrate the 2012 Congress, the statement said.

While the congress theme has yet to be finalised, Cardinal Brady and Archbishop Martin said they were deeply conscious that 2012 also marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

"The purpose of the congress is to deepen our knowledge of the Eucharist which in itself is central to our Catholic faith," they added.

Noting that this will be the second time that Dublin and Ireland will have hosted the event since its inauguration in 1881, Cardinal Brady and Archbishop Martin said that "it is our hope that the 2012 Congress will be an opportunity for the Catholic Church in Ireland to both reflect on the centrality of the Eucharist at the heart of our increasingly diverse community, and, to give renewed impetus to the living of faith".

The 1932 Congress was a landmark event in establishing the identity abroad of the Irish Free State, a decade after independence.

The climax saw one million people attend a Mass in the Phoenix Park which heard the tenor John McCormack's rendition of 'Panis Angelicus'.

Historians have defined it as an event which symbolised the bonding of Catholicism and Irish nationalism.

6/25/2008 1:10 PM
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by Adriano Torti
Translated from

June 24, 2006

272 pp, 14 chapters, 740 photos
Publ. Il Cittadino, Genoa, 2008
25 euro

Mass in Genoa, May 18, 2008; below, Cardinal Bagnasco with the Pope
at the Gaslini children's hospital

Sorry...I lost the translation inadvertently. Will re-post as soon as I'ive redone it.

6/25/2008 2:13 PM
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A full translation of today's catechesis has been posted in AUDIENCE & ANGELUS TEXTS.

The Holy Father spoke today of St. Maximus Confessor (580-662) in his catechesis, which he delivered almost entirely improvised, departing from his prepared text. Here is the English synthesis he gave:

In today’s catechesis we turn to Saint Maximus the Confessor, a heroic defender of the Church’s faith in the true humanity of Christ amid the bitter theological controversies of the seventh century.

Born in Palestine, Maximus became a monk and lived in Constantinople, Roman Africa and Rome itself. In his preaching and writings he defended the mystery of the incarnation and opposed the monothelite heresy, which refused to acknowledge the presence of an integral human will in Jesus Christ.

Maximus clearly understood that our salvation depends on Christ’s complete humanity, which necessarily includes a human will capable of freely cooperating with the divine will in achieving the work of our redemption.

The salvation of man, and indeed the entire cosmos, is central to the theology of Saint Maximus. Through the incarnation of the Son of God, the whole universe is now redeemed and unified. Christ is thus the one absolute Value, to whom all worldly values are directed.

This vision of a "cosmic liturgy", centred on the Incarnate Lord, ought to inspire the efforts of Christians today to make our world conform ever more fully to its ultimate meaning and goal in God’s saving plan.

True freedom is conforming
our will to God's, Pope says

VATICAN CITY, June 25 (Translated from AsiaNews) - True freedom, maximum freedom, does not consist in saying No, in closing oneself, but in saying Yes, in opening up and conforming our will to that of God, Pope Benedict XVI said in his catechesis today.

This gives the right context, the Pope said, even for values that must be defended today - and rightly - such as tolerance, freedom and dialog, as he dwelt on the example of St. Maximus the Confessor, one of the great Fathers of the Church, who was the subject of the Holy Father's catechesis at the General Audience today.

The Pope addressed some 30,000 faithful on a very warm and sunny day in St. Peter's Square. Most of those present used umbrellas and hats against the sun, and the Pope himself once again donned his red straw 'saturno' (wide-brimmed hat) during his Popemobile tour of the Piazza.

Maximus, born in Palestine in 580, and dedicated to the monastic life and the study of Scriptures, earned the title of Confessor for the intrepid courage with which he testified to ('confessed') his faith, the Pope said.

From Jerusalem, he transferred to Constantinople and later to Africa where he defended orthodox Catholic teaching, particularly that Christ had a human nature and not simply a divine one.

"A man without free will is not a true man," Maximus argued, and even Jesus Christ "would not have been a true man without having human will" without which "he would not have experienced the tragedy of being human."

However, in Jesus, there is no dualism between divine will and human will, they are 'united in the person of Christ", but "one should not cut out his human nature to explain the Incarnation."

For Maximus, this was no idle 'philosophical speculation, but the reality of Christ's life", as one could see in the 'drama at Gethsemane' in which Jesus says to the Father, "Not my will but yours be done".

Adam, who represents mankind, "thought that to say NO was the maximum freedom, that only he who can say NO is truly free, and so he said No to God... The human nature of Christ also had this tendency in itself, but overcomes it because he sees that maximum freedom is not NO, but saying YES, conforming to the will of God... the union of his will with the divine".

Adam wished to be like God, but NO is not the way to do this, rather it is in the capacity to 'get out of oneself' that man becomes truly free. It is transferring the human will to that of God.

"This is the issue for the human being, the question of our life."

Maximus, the Pope recalled, was called to Rome by Pope Martin I who had convoked the Lateran Council precisely to defend the human nature of Christ alongside the divine, and for this he was condemned to death by the Roman emperor.

Maximus continued to maintain that it was impossible to say that Jesus only had one will, and an imperial tribunal condemned him - although he was already in his 80s - with amputation of his hands and his tongue. He died in exile in 662.

The life and thought of Maximus are "illuminated by extreme courage, without reductions or compromises", thus showing us "how we should live our Christian calling... united with God".

Christ's Yes to God's will, Benedict continued, shows us the right context to give all other values such as those that "today we must rightly defend" - such as tolerance which, "if it can no longer discern between good and bad, becomes chaotic and self-destructive", or freedom which, "if it does not respect the freedom of others and does not find the right and common measure, becomes anarchy and destroys authority", or dialog which, "if it no longer knows what the subject matter is for dialog, becomes nothing but empty chatter".

"These are all great and fundamental values", said the Pope, "but they can remain true values only if they have a unifying point of reference which gives them the quality of values. This reference point is the synthesis of God and the cosmos - the figure of Christ from whom we learn the truth about ourselves, and therefore learn to have the right context for all values in such a way that we know their correct meaning."

The Pope inspects two vehicles identified as 'Piaggio Ape'(?)
presented to him after the GA today


VATICAN CITY, 25 JUN 2008 (VIS) - Before today's general audience AT St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI blessed a marble statue of St. Luigi Orione which has been placed in an external niche in the back wall of the Vatican Basilica.

St. Luigi Orione (1872-1940), an Italian priest, was the founder of the Little Work of Divine Providence which gained approval in 1903. In 1908, following an earthquake that devastated parts of Sicily and Calabria, he spent three years in those areas caring for victims, especially orphans.

After the First World War Don Orione's Work expanded, with the foundation of colleges and of educational and assistance organisations. Missionary activity began in Brazil in 1913.

John Paul II beatified Don Orione on 26 October 1980, and proclaimed him a saint on 16 May 2004. His feast day falls on 12 March.

At the close of the general audience, the Holy Father greeted "with great affection", the members of the Orione Family and expressed his hope that the unveiling of the statue of their founder "will constitute for all his spiritual children a renewed stimulus to continue along the path indicated by St. Luigi Orione, especially in bringing to Peter's Successor - as he himself said - 'the small, the humble, the poor workers, and the rejects of life who are most dear to Christ, and the real treasures of the Church of Jesus Christ'".



The Vatican released today the text of a letter written by the Holy Father to mark the debut of L'Osservatore Romano reprinted in Malayalam, one of the major Indian languages, in translation from the Vatican newspaper's weekly English edition. It is the first foreign-language edition of OR printed outside the Vatican and the first in non-Roman characters.

Dear Friends,

The publication of this first edition of L’Osservatore Romano in the Malayalam language is a highly significant event in the life of the Church in India, since it will keep the over six million Catholics in Kerala State fully informed about the ministry of the Pope and the work of the Holy See and strengthen the bonds of faith and ecclesial communion linking the Catholic community to the See of Peter.

I take this occasion gladly to offer my prayerful good wishes for this important undertaking, together with my heartfelt thanks to the directors of the Carmel International Publishing House and to all those who in any way have contributed to its realization.

It is my hope that this new translation of the English edition, which now takes its place alongside the other language editions of L’Osservatore Romano, will prove a valuable source of instruction and enrichment in the faith, an incentive to ever greater fraternity and cooperation within Kerala’s richly diverse Catholic community, and an indispensable aid to the continuing work of evangelization.

To you and your families I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ.

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/25/2008 11:55 PM]
6/25/2008 6:22 PM
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ROME, June 25 (Translated from SIR) - Benedict XVI will formally open the Pauline Year at First Vespers on Satueday, June 28, at the Basilica of St. Paul outside the Walls, with the participation of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and representatives of other Christian churches and communities with historical and geographical links to the Apostle of the Gentiles.

Earlier that day, Patriarch Bartholomew will have a private audience with the Holy Father. He will be accompanied by Metropolitan Gennadios, the Orthodox Archbishop of Italy and Malta; Metropolitan Ioannis of Pergamum, co-president of the Innternational Mixed Commission for Theological Dialog between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churces as a whole; and Archbishop Antonios of Hierapolis, of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the United States.

Also attending the Pauline Year opening ceremonies will be a group of about 70 Orthodox dignitaries from other countries, but mostly from the United States.

On Sunday, June 29, after Bartholomew I takes prominent [unprecedented?] part in the Mass celebated by Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Basilica to mark the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, the Patriarch will proceed to the Church of St. Theodore Megalomartyr in Rome to meet with the local Orthodox community and celebrate Vespers.

[During the Mass, Bartholomew will join Benedict XVI in the profession of the Creed, deliver a homily, and impart his Apostolic Blessing, with the Pope, at the end.]

Other Christian representatives who will be at the June 28 Vespers in St. Paul outside the Walls include:
- Archbishop Drexel Gomes, Anglican Primate of the West Indies, representing the Archbishop of Canterbury;
- Theophanis, Archbishop of Gerasa and Exarch of Athens, for the Patriarchate of Jerusalem;
- Archimandrite Ignatios Sotiriadis, of the Orthodox Church of Greece;
- Metropolitan Valentin of Orenburg-Buzuluk, representing the Patriarchate of Moscow;
- Archbishop Filipp of Poltava-Myrorod in the Ukraine, also representing the Patriarchate of Moscow; and
- Metropolitan Mor Philoxenus Mattias Nayis, Syro-Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch.

6/25/2008 11:40 PM
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Tomorrow's issue (6/26/08) of L'Osservatore Romano carries three articles on the liturgy - 1) an interview with Mons. Guido Marini, in which he reiterates many points he has made before about Benedict XVI's preferences and choices in terms of liturgical practice [new is the explanation of why the Pope is reverting to the form of the pallium similar to what his immediate predecessors wore; and that the Pope intends to show the faithful that the traditional way of receiving Communion is preferable - that, in fact, receiving Communion in the hand had begun as an 'indult' [i.e., an exception that is allowed] originally conceded to some dioceses/parishes that had requested it; 2) an article by liturgist Fr. Uwe Lang on the pallium, its history and significance; and 3) the following essay by a Spanish journalist who is also one of Spain's most successful and much-awarded contemporary novelists.

I chose to start with this translation because it lays down several premises necessary to fully appreciate Benedict XVI's attitude to the liturgy and everything that has to do with it.

Liturgical vestments
according to Ratzinger

by Juan Manuel de Prada
Translated from
the 6/26/08 issue of

Not too long ago, some amused perplexity was raised in the journalistic world by the fact that the American magazine Esquire, in its annual recognition of personalities they consider to epitomize elegance, they chose Benedict XVI as the 'accessorizer' of the year. [On the basis of his red shoes, as though the Pope's red shoes had been a personal caprice rather than a papal custom of centuries!]

That choice, which shows a frivolousness characteristic of an age that tends to banalize whatever it does not understand, came at a time when Benedict XVI had attracted some unprecedented media attention for having revived some articles of wear rooted in papal tradition - like the red-velvet, ermine-trimmed camauro winter cap, or the 'saturno', a wide-brimmed hat that had been used in recent times by some of his predecessors including John XXIII and John Paul II.

Around that time, too, the unfounded report had become widespread that the Pope's red shoes were made by the famous Milan fashion house Prada. Of course, the attribution was false, and contemporary banality wasn't even aware that in the Church, the color red signifies martyrdom.

In the same way, no one seemed to notice how incongruous these frivolous attributions were with the simple serious man who, on the day he was elected Pope, showed himself to the world for the first time wearing a modest black sweater whose sleeves showed under his new papal garments.

Still, as it often happens, those inopportune frivolities did hide a kernel of paradoxical truth: in fact, at times, even through confusion and stupidity, the media are able to perceive - in a fragmentary, confused and distorted way - some realities which truly are.

The truth is that Benedict XVI does, in fact, show a profound concern for what he wears - but a concern that is of a completely different nature and has nothing to do with fashion.

St. Irinaeus used to say, towards the end of his life, that he did nothing in life but to allow to grow and mature whatever had been sown in his soul by Policarpus, a disciple of St. John.

In a memorable passage in his brief autobiography, Joseph Ratzinger tells us how he learned to live the liturgy since he was a child, thanks to the seed planted in him by his parents, who gave him a child's 'Schott' - the Roman missal translated to German by the Benedictine monk Anselm Schott.

The fragment has a seminal beauty comparable to the 'madeleine' episode in Proust's masterpiece:

Naturally, the child I then was did not grasp every aspect of this, but I started down the road of the liturgy, and this became a continuous process of growth into a grand reality transcending all particular individuals and generations, a reality that became an occasion for me of ever-new amazement and discovery.

This concept of liturgy as a patrimony inherited from Tradition, enriched by successive contributions that make it grow organically, differs from some contemporary views which reflect 'atomized' knowledge, devoid of foundations and of firm links, easily adaptable to concrete actual circumstances, and yet a knowledge that prides itself fiercely on being 'original'- as if tradition was not the supreme form of originality in the sense that it links us to the 'origins' - an attitude that has contaminated some liturgical tendencies that empty the rite of any sense.

The seed that his parents deposited in that boy in Bavaria were to bear fruit in works like God and the World, where Ratzinger took pains to show the sense of historicity in liturgy as a gift handed by Christ to his Church, a gift which has grown with it and inspires the faithful to continually 'rediscover the Church as a living entity'.

To this living entity, Ratzinger would dedicate Introduction to the Spirit of the Liturgy, a book in which - in continuity with the classic title Guardini had used for his own work - Ratzinger reaffirms the concept of Tradition which is not static, "but which can neither be diminished by mere arbitrary creativity", and deepens the idea of liturgy as participation in Christ's encounter with the Father, in communion with the universal Church.

Like his master Guardini, Ratzinger wishes that the liturgy be celebrated "in the most essential way" - in which 'essentiality' does not mean poverty, at least not in the sense whereby some would place the 'social consciousness' aspect ahead of liturgical celebration [to which Jesus responds clearly in the Gospel story about Mary and Martha in Bethany].

'Essentiality' here means 'intimate exigency', the search for an interior purity which is not to be confused with static 'purism'.

It is in this attention to liturgy that we must consider the importance - visible to anyone who is not completely dulled by frivolousness - that Benedict XVI attaches to liturgical vestments and liturgical ornaments.

The priest does not choose such ornaments out of aesthetic whim: he does so to clothe himself as Christ, that "beauty ever ancient, ever new" St. Augustine spoke about. This 'clothing oneself in Christ' - a central concept of St. Paul's anthropology - requires a process of interior transformation, an intimate renewal within the celebrant that allows him to be one with Christ, a member of his body.

Liturgical wear represent this 'clothing oneself in Christ' - the priest transcends his personal identity to become someone else, and the faithful who take part in the celebration are reminded that the journey they started in Baptism and which is nourished by the Eucharist leads us to the celestial home, where we will all be dressed in new clothes made pure by the blood of the Lamb.

Thus, liturgical vestments are 'an anticipation of the new robes, s symbol of Christ's resurrected Body' - an anticipation and hope of our own resurrection, which is the definitive goal and permanent dwelling of Christian existence.

So the Pope is not wearing Prada. He is wearing Christ. And his concern about liturgical wear has nothing to do with 'accessorizing', but with the essential itself.

This is the significance of the liturgical vestments and ornaments to which Benedict XVI has dedicated special attention, in order to make more understandable to the faithful of our time the authentic reality that underlies liturgy.


That piece of white wool
by Michael Uwe Lang
Translated from
the 6/26/08 issue of

Among the liturgical insignias of the Roman Pointiff, one of the most evocative is the pallium of white wool, symbol of the bishop as the Good Shepherd as well as of the Lamb crucified for the salvation of humanity.

As Pope Benedict XVI noted in his homily at the Mass that inaugurated his Petrine ministry on April 24, 2005: "The lamb's wool is meant to represent the lost sheep - or the sick one, or the weak one - that the shepherd carries on his shoulder to bring to the waters of life."

The first historical references to the pallium come out of Christian antiquity. Sometimes, it is claimed that it originated from the vestments of Roman state officials which were then worn by religious dignitaries as well. But the Jesuit Joseph Braun in his masterful book Die liturgischen Paramente in Gegenwart und Vergangenheit. Ein Handbuch der Paramentik[Liturgical vestments present and past: A handbook on paraments](2nd ed. 1924, reprint, Nova & Vetera, Bonn, 2005, pp 143-151) suggests an ecclesiastical origin for the pallium. According to the German scholar, from the very beginning, the Popes had wished the sacred pallium to be the insignia and liturgical stole that was specifically theirs.

In any case, the Liber pontificalis[Book of Popes] notes that Pope St. Mark (336) conferred the pallium on the suburbican Bishop of Ostia, one of the consacrants of the Roman Pontiff (Liber pontificalis, ed. Duchesne, volume I, pagine 202-203).

Even if we cannot be sure of the historical value of that information, at leasst it reflects the practice in the 5th or 6th century when the Liber pontificalis was compiled by the Roman Curia.

In 513, Pope Simmacus conceded the privilege of the pallium to St. Cesarius of Arles (Vita, sancti Caesarii 4, 20: pl 67,1016). After that, the granting of the pallium by the Roman Pontiffs to the bishops of Italy and outside Italy became common.

In its historical development, the pallium became the symbol of a bishop's special link with the Pope and also expresses the power that, in communion with the Church of Rome, the metropolitan acquires by right in his own jurisdiction.

In Egypt, St. Isidore of Pelusio (440), identifying the bishop's insignia by the term omophorion - "that which the bishop wears on his shoulders" - explains that it is made of wool, not of linen, and therefore, "it stands for the skin of the lost sheep that the Lord looked for, and having found it, carried it on his shoulder" (Isidore of Pelusio (Ep. i,136: pg 78,721).

The liturgical pallium in its oldest representation appears in the form of an open scarf that is placed over the shoulders. This is how we see it on Archbishop Maximianus (498-556) in the Church of San Vitale in Ravenna (built in the first half of the 6th century).

A piece of the pallium with a cross hangs anteriorly on his left side, while the other end is thrown over the left shoulder, around the neck, and down the right shoulder to chest level, going back up over the left shoulder to fall down the back.

This style of wearing the pallium was maintained until the High Middle Ages when, with the use of pins, it was worn in such a way that the two ends fell exactly down the middle, front and back.

When the pins were replaced by fixed stitches,it evolved into the circular form which is commonly seen after the 9th century, as we can see in representations in different Roman basilicas (Santa Maria Antiqua, Santa Maria in Trastevere, San Clemente).

The two ends of the pallium were always kept considerably long, but after the 15th century, they were increasingly shortened.

The ornaments of the pallium, which can be found illustrated in the Ravenna mosaic, were progressivwely enhanced. Four, six or eight crosses, in red or black, were embroidered on them. Fringes were sometimes added.

In the most developed form, the two ends were finished with small lead weights covered in black silk. The three jewelled pins, which originally served to keep the pallium in place, had become simply decorative by the 13th century.

One can say that the long pallium which is slung over the left shoulder was no longer used by the Pope and by the bishops of the West after the Carolingian era. It would seem that even in the Middle Ages, there was already an awareness of this historical development. An illustration from an 11th century manuscript shows St. Gregory the Great, wearing the contemporary form of the pallium with the ends hanging down the middle, and the Apostle Peter, who uses it in the old style (Montecassino, Biblioteca dell'Abbazia, 73 dd).

Therefore, tehe famous painting found at the Santo Speco inSubiaco, which dates to around 1219, showing Pope Innocent III wearing the old-style pallium, appears to be a conscious 'archaicism'.

The omophorion, a liturgical parament used by the Orthodox bishops and by the Catholic bishops of the Oriental Churches of the Byzantine rite, consists of a wide piece of fabric which is shallow in the center to allow it to go around the neck, drape around the shoulders and then have both ends drop down on the chest.

In the Oriental tradition, the 'great omophorio' (different from the smaller one, which is worn by Orthodox bishops on some occasions and resembles the 'epitrachelion' which corresponds to the Western stole)
has undergone a certain change and today, it is charatcerized by being much wider and is much more adorned. Unlike the pallium, the omophorio is not reserved to metropolitan archbishops but can be worn by all bishops.


The Papal pallium between
continuity and development

by Gianluca Biccini
Translated from
the 6/26/08 issue of

Starting June 29, Benedict XVI will change the style of the pallium he uses for solemn liturgical celebrations. For the Mass on the Feasts of Saints Peter and Paul, he will wear the closed circular pallium, with the ends hanging down the center, front and back,

It will be wider and longer and will retain the red color of the crosses that adorn it.

"It has to do with the development of the Latin pallium that was used up to the time of John Paul II," explained Mons. Guido Marini, Master of pontifical liturgical celebrations, who cited historical and liturgical reasons for the change in this interview with L'Osservatore Romano.

What are the elements of continuity and of innovation compared to the past?
In the light of careful studies on the development of the pallium in the course of centuries, one can say that the long pallium crossed over the left shoulder was no longer worn in the West starting from teh ninth century. In fact, the painting at the Sacro Speco [Benedictine monastery] in Subiaco, which goes back to 1219, showing Pope Innocent II with that kind of pallium, appears to be a conscious 'archaicism'.

In this light, the use of the new pallium would satisfy two demands: first of all, that of underscoring better the continuous development of this liturgical vestment over the course of more than 12 centuries; and in the second pratical reason is that the style of the pallium used by Benedict XVI since the start of his Pontificate has entailed a number of bothersome problems.

Will there still be a difference betwen the papal pallium and that which he imposes on the metropolitan archbishops?
Yes. What Benedict XVI will use starting June 29 will be the form of the pallium used up to the time of John Paul II, although it will be wider and longer, and with red crosses rather than black. The difference in form between the Pope's pallium and that of the archbishops highlights the difference in the jurisdiction that the pallium represents.

For some months, the Pope has also been using a different pastoral staff. What were the reasons for the change?
The golden staff in the form of a Greek cross - which belonged to Pius IX and was used for the first time by Benedict XVI last Palm Sunday - is the one now used by the Pope, who decided to replace the silver staff topped by a crucifix that had been first used by Paul VI and then by John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI himself.

The choice was not simply a question of using something from the past, but a sign of development in continuity, being rooted in tradition that allows proceeding along the historical path in an orderly manner.

This staff, which is called a 'ferule', is more faithful to the form of the papal staff in the Roman tradition, which was always in the form of a cross, not a crucifix, from the time the pastoral staff was first adopted by the Roman Pontiffs.

Then there is the element of practicality: Pius IX"s ferule is much lighter and more manageable for Benedict XVI than the staff introduced by Paul VI.

What has been done with the original staff designed by Lello Scorzelli for Papa Montini in the mid-60s?
It is always available at the Pontifical Sacristy, along with many other objects belonging to previous Popes.

Do the same arguments hold for the choice of liturgical vestments that the Pope has worn in various celebrations?
Even in such cases, it must be pointed out that the liturgical vestments chosen, along with certain particulars of the liturgical rites, are meant to underscore the continuity between the celebration of the liturgy today with what characterized the life of the Church in the past.

The hermeneutic of continuity is always the correct criterion for looking at the pilgrimage of the Church in time. This is true even for the liturgy. Just as a Pope always cites the documents of his predecessors in order to show the continuity of the Magisterium, it's the same way in the liturgical field, where the Pope uses liturgical vestments and accessories his predecessors used to indicate the same continuity in the lex orandi.

But I would like to point out that the Pope does not always use old vestments, that he wears contemporary ones often. Because what matters is not whether it's old or new, but rather whether the vestments have beauty and dignity, which are the important components of every liturgical celebration.

We certainly see that in the Pope's travels outside Italy and within Italy, where the Pope's vestments are prepared by the host Churches.
Exacly. Think of the recent Masses in the United States or those in Liguria and in the Salento. In each case, it was the local dioceses which prepared the Pope's liturgical vestments, in consultation with the Office of Papal Liturgical Celebrations. Even with the variety of styles and the attention to incorporating local elements, the basic criteria are still beauty and dignity, which are the necessary dimensions of the sacred acts that are carried out in every liturgical function.

Can we anticipate any particular aspect of the Pope's next trip abroad?
I can say that the period of preparation was very fruitful and that the cooperation I found in Australia was very heartfelt and outgoing. Pope Benedict will be meeting the youth of the world again, and we should all pray that this encounter will be a source of great grace for all, an occasion for everyone to know the face of Jesus and the face of the Church better, and a stimulus for a prompt and generous response to the call of the Lord.

We hope, of course, that even the liturgical celebrations - prepared with care and truly participated in because they would be lived with the heart - may be privileged occasions for receiving grace.

What about the use of some large papal thrones, such as that used during the consistory, and placing the Crucifix back at the center of the altar?
The so-called throne, which has been used on particular occasions, simply calls attention to the fact that it is the Pope - Successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ - who is presiding at the liturgy.

The position of the Cross in the center of the altar idnicates the centrality of the Crucifix in the Eucharistic celebration, as the correct orientation that the whole assembly should have during the liturgy. We are not there to look at each other, but at him who was born, died and reseurrected for us, the Saviour. From the Lord comes salvation, He is our East, the Sun who rises, to whom we should all turn our eyes, to whom we turn to receive his grace.

The question of liturgical orientation during Mass, and the pactical ways in which this is realized, is very important, because it conveys a fundamental truth which is theological and anthropological, ecclesial as well as relevant to one's personal spirituality.

So this would explain even the decision to use the built-in altar of the Sistine Chapel during the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord?
Exactly, but in circumstances when the celebration is oriented this way, it is not a case of the pries tturning his back to the faithful, but of orienting himself together with the faithful toward the Lord. This is not 'closing the door to the gathering' but 'opening the door' to them and leading them to the Lord.

We know there are circumstances when the particular conditions of the place of worship - artistic quality, beauty, harmony - makes it appropriate to use its traditional altar which generally retains the precise orientation for liturgical celebrations. And this is not at all surprising. Just go to St. Peter's Basilica in the morning to see all those priests celebrating the ordinary form of the Mass - the Novus Ordo - but on traditional altars oriented like that of the Sistine.

In the recent visit to Santa Maria di Leuca and to Brindisi, the Pope gave Communion on the tongue to the faithful who knelt to receive it. Is this going to be habitual now in papal Masses?
I think so. In this respect, one must not forget that receiving Communion in the hands is still, from the juridical viewpoint, simply an indult or exception to the universal rule for Communion, and that it was originally granted by the Holy See to the bishops' conferences that had requested the reception.

The modality now adopted by Benedict XVI underlines that it is still the Communion norm for the universal Church. One can perhaps see his preference for it, since without taking anything from the other way of receiving Communion, it throws a clearer light on the truth of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, it helps devotional concentration, and it more easily induces a sense of mystery and reverence - and these are aspects which, in our time, pastorally speaking, need to be urgently recoverd.

What do you say to those who accuse Benedict XVI of wanting to impose pre-conciliar models?
First of all, I would like to point out the sincere support that Pope Benedict XVI has received from the faithful, even in his liturgical Magisterium. Next, I think that terms like 'pre-conciliar' and 'post-conciliar' belong to the past, we have gone beyond that, and if they are used with the intention of showing a discontinuity in the path of the Church, then I say they are wrong and typical of ideological views which are exteremely reductionist.

There are always old things as well as new things among the treasures of the Church which should be considred simply as such - treasures. The wise man will always find both in his treasury without need for using criteria that are neitehr evangelical onor ecclesial.

Not everything that is new is true, in the same way that not everything old is valid. Truth transcends old and new, and we should only be concerned about the truth, without preconceptions.

The Church lives according to a law of continuity by which she has developed while rooted in tradition. What is important in liturgy is that every element should contribute so that the liturgical celebration is truly a celebration of the sacred, of the Crucified and Risen Lord who is present in his Church, constantly renewing the mystery of salvation, and calling us, by the logic of authentically active participation, to share his example even up to its extreme consequences, a life that is a gift of love, for the Father and for our brothers, a life of holiness.

About Summorum Pontificum - even today, it continues to be the subject of contradictory interpretations. Can we look forward to celebrations presided by the Holy Father using the extraordinary or traditional form of the mass?
That's a question I cannot answer. As for the Motu Proprio, if it is considered with calm attention and without ideological bias, along with the letter that the Pope addressed to all the bishops of the world in presenting it, then his double purpose is clear. First, to facilitate achievement of 'reconciliation in the bosom of the Church itself' - in which sense, the Motu Proprio is a very beautiful gesture of love in order to promote church unity. In the second place - and we must not forget this - it also aims to promote a reciprocal enrichment between the two forms of the Roman rite: such that, for instance, in a celebration according to the Missal of Paul VI - the ordinary form - "the sacredness which attracts many to the old Mass may be manifested more strongly than it has been till now".


Personally, I am sorry to see the Pope abandoning the older form of the pallium. I like the ample and generous and yes, 'classic' way it drapes - it's much more 'ceremonial' and, in a way, more meaningful that way. Just look at the Spaziani photo above! The 'modern form' looks too much like a convenience, somewhat like, say, a clip-on bowtie! I have been trying to check back why the Holy Father had decided to revive the classic early medieval form starting with his Inaugural Mass, to begin with....
[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/26/2008 6:39 AM]
6/26/2008 4:15 PM
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Catholic rebel snubs
call to rejoin Rome

By Tom Heneghan

I'm not sure if this can be considered definitive in any way - since it is based on remarks made by Mons. Fellay in Minnesota days before the report came out about the conditions set by the Vatican, a story already reported elsewhere before then - even though Reuters has apparently just discovered it. Since then, an SSPX representative has said that the Vatican conditions were to be discussed by a general meeting of the fraternity this week. But this Reuters story does not even indicate any attempt to reach the SSPX at all for comment!

PARIS, June 26 (Reuters) - The leader of a breakaway traditionalist Catholic group has rejected a Vatican offer to rejoin Rome, accusing Pope Benedict of trying to silence dissenting voices.

Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) that broke with Rome 20 years ago, said conditions set by the Vatican amounted to muzzling the traditionalists who claim to be the only true Catholics since Church reforms in the 1960s.

Keen to end this schism, Benedict agreed last year to their demand to restore the old Latin Mass. But he insists they must accept the reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) before he can lift excommunication decrees against them.

"Rome is telling us, okay, we are ready to lift the excommunications, but you cannot continue this way," Fellay said in a sermon last Friday now posted as an audio file on the U.S.-based Voice of Catholic Radio website.

"So we have no choice... we are continuing what we've done," the Swiss-born Fellay said in English at an SSPX seminary in Winona, Minnesota. "They just say 'shut up' ... we are not going ... to shut up."

The Milan daily Il Giornale reported on Monday the Vatican had told the SSPX it must pledge to respect the Pope and accept him as the Church's final doctrinal authority.

Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi told the Paris Catholic daily La Croix: "The Pope wants to extend his hand so they can return, but for that to happen, this offer must be received in an attitude and spirit of charity and communion."

Lombardi did not spell out the consequences of rejecting the offer, but Il Giornale's well-informed Vatican expert Andrea Tornielli wrote: "Such favorable conditions for a return to full communion will in all probability not come again."

The SSPX claims about a million followers worldwide, many of them in France. It split off when its founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, consecrated four traditionalist bishops -- including Fellay -- in 1988 against orders from Pope John Paul.

Since then, it has regularly appealed to the Vatican to withdraw the excommunications and allow it to return to the 1.1-billion strong Church. But its leaders often publicly denounce the Pope.

Fellay said the Pope must restore other Church traditions besides the old Latin Mass before the SSPX could return. It is particularly critical of the Vatican Council's reconciliation with Judaism and call to cooperation with other Christians.

"The new Mass is the tip of the iceberg of Vatican II and of these modern ideas." Adding the old Mass to the "iceberg of Vatican II" did not change the reforms hidden below, he said.

Vatican watchers say the ultimatum could split SSPX into a hard core of rebels and a larger group ready to return to Rome now that it has allowed wider use of the old Latin Mass.

"Most people want a reverent Mass and sound preaching. They care little for the loftier theological arguments," Rev. John Zuhlsdorf, a prominent conservative Catholic blogger, wrote in an analysis. "The identity of the SSPX is at stake now."

The ultimatum's deadline of June 30 [I thought it was June 28] is the 20th anniversary of the bishops' ordinations that sealed the schism.


BTW, I most heartily commend and join the following initiative by

The NLM comes to all of its readers, imploring your good and ardent prayers particularly now in these most pressing days and hours, that the proposal of the Holy See to the Society of Saint Pius X will be embraced.

To NLM Readers; A Proposal:

Will you each commit to offering at least one holy rosary tonight or tomorrow for the intention of Bishop Bernard Fellay and the Society of St. Pius X in this matter?

For the really eager, perhaps you will commit to offering one rosary each day for the next three days for this intention beginning now?

If you go to daily Mass, will you offer up your Mass intention for this?

Priests: Will you offer up your own Masses for this intention?

Let us storm the gates of Heaven with this intention.

Sometimes people feel that such things are not humanly possible, but let us remember that nothing will be impossible for God. Now is the hour for saints, not skeptics, so let us approach the matter with the fervour of the saints, imploring Divine Grace to shower down upon Bishop Bernard Fellay and the SSPX, Pope Benedict XVI, and all others involved.

Much good for souls, for the sacred liturgy and for the Faith can come from the SSPX embracing this arrangement, not only for the Society itself, but also for the entire Church.

So again, the NLM asks you: pray. If you cannot commit to the prayer proposal above then commit to small acts of prayer throughout the day for this matter.

It's not possible to get an official news update from any of the SSPX sites in various countries, which do not appear to be coordinated. There is no SSPX 'central' site although they have a news-and documentation site called DICI, which has so far not even reported the June 8 Vatican letter from Cardinal Castrillon! In fact, its last news post is a May 29 report about Cardinal Bertone advocating Catholic-Orthodox unity when he visited the Ukraine.

The "News section" appears to be all about Vatican news that the society considers significant - the 'news' before the Bertone item was Cardinal Tauran's announcement that the Vatian is preparing some guidelines for inter-religious dialog; and before that, the Pope's address to the bishops of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei about dialog with Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists which are the majority religions in their area.

DICI does not carry any report at all - not even in the section called 'News about the SSPX' - about recent interventions by Mons. Fellay or other SSPX prelates. Its last post in this respect was Mons. Fellay's official statement after the release of Summorum Pontificum last year!

The SSPX doesn't even seem to have an offiail logo - I had to cobble together the 'banner' I used above from what's on their various sites. The pictures on the Mother House banner are of Pius IX and Mons. Lefebvre.

The only SSPX site that took note of the current state of affairs is the German district which had this entry (translated here on June 24, under the heading 'Statement' but accompanied by a graphic

The Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X takes note of the warning words from His Eminenze Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos (in some news portals and Italian newspapers referred to as an 'ultimatum') dated June 8, 2008. It will anser His Eminence in the next few days.

At the same time, the Fraternity rejoices over the rich graces that the four bishops consecrated 20 years ago by Bishop Lefebvre have spent in favor of the Church during these stormy times.

Stuttgart, Juen 24, 2008
Fr. Franz Schmidberger, District Superior

Meanwhile, it is interesting that the homepage of the SSPX US district contains this prominent feature, with a picture of Benedict XVI even!

The Society of St. Pius X professes filial devotion and loyalty to Pope Benedict XVI, the Successor of Saint Peter and the Vicar of Christ.

The priests of the SSPX pray for the intentions of the Holy Father and the welfare of the local Ordinary at every Mass they celebrate

Someone needs to do a competent overview at a glance of the SSPX now, given that it has had significant attritions over the years, with notable breakways like Bishop De Castro of Brazil (the Campos Prelature), the FSSP (Fraternity of St. Peter) and the Institut de Bon Pasteur, which have all 'come home to Rome' with organizational and pastoral activities of their own which seem to be more 'effective' than the mother organization they left.

BTW, here is CNS's rather delayed report based on Andrea Tornielli's 6/24/08 scoop:

Vatican presses traditionalists
with reconciliation expiration date

By John Thavis

VATICAN CITY, June 25 (CNS) -- The Vatican has pressed the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X to accept five conditions, including respect for the Pope and his authority, as part of a reconciliation offer.

The conditions were communicated by letter to the head of the society, Bishop Bernard Fellay, by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, who has conducted an on-again, off-again dialogue with the traditionalists for several years.

One of the conditions set forth in Cardinal Castrillon's letter was that the society respond favorably by the end of June. Vatican sources said the deadline indicated some Vatican impatience with the dialogue that began in 2000 and has yet to yield results.

The Vatican offer was first reported by the Italian newspaper, Il Giornale, and followed a meeting June 4 between Cardinal Castrillon and Bishop Fellay.

Vatican sources confirmed that the reconciliation proposal included the possibility of establishing a "personal prelature" or a similar canonical structure for the society, which would allow the society a certain autonomy.

Last year, Pope Benedict XVI widened the possibility for use of the Tridentine rite, the form of Mass used before the Second Vatican Council. That was a long-standing request of the society.

But Bishop Fellay has continued to criticize the Vatican on other matters, and has expressed his society's continued opposition to several teachings of Vatican II.

In April Bishop Fellay said the time was not right for reconciliation with the Vatican, because church leaders have not taken steps to reverse the "crisis" introduced by Vatican II.

One source said the new Vatican offer signaled that the Vatican was not willing to continue dialogue with the traditionalist society indefinitely. There was some hope, but not much optimism, that the society would accept the proposal, he said.

The conditions laid out by the Vatican were:
- A commitment to a response that is proportionate to the generosity of the pope.
- A commitment to avoid any public intervention that does not respect the person of the Ppe and that could "be negative for ecclesial charity."
- A commitment to avoid "the pretext of a magisterium superior to the Holy Father" and to not present the society in opposition to the church.
- A commitment to demonstrate the will to act honestly in full ecclesial communion and in respect of the Ppe's authority.
- A commitment to respect the date, fixed for the end of June, to respond positively. This deadline is described as a "necessary condition" for the preparation for a reconciliation.

The society broke with the Vatican in 1988 when its founder, the late French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, ordained four bishops against papal instructions; Bishop Fellay was one of those ordained.

At that time, the Vatican said those involved in the ordinations were excommunicated. Bishop Fellay has asked the Ppe to repeal the decree of excommunication as one major step in the reconciliation process.

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/26/2008 7:45 PM]
6/26/2008 11:37 PM
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THE POPE'S DAY, 6/27/08

The Holy Father today met with
- H.E. Firmin Mboutsou, Ambassador of Gabon, who presented his credentials. Address in French.
- Bishops of Honduras, Group 3, on ad-limina visit. Address in Spanish



VATICAN CITY, 26 JUN 2008 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Pope received the Letters of Credence of Firmin Mboutsou, the new ambassador of Gabon to the Holy See. In his address to the diplomat the Pontiff highlighted the good relations that have existed between the Holy See and that African State for 40 years.

"The Church contributes", said the Holy Father, "and wishes to contribute ever more to educating men, women and children, without distinction, respecting people and their cultures, and transmitting to each the spiritual and moral values indispensable for human development. In the same way, over her long history, she participates in healthcare education".

In this context, the Pope expressed the hope that, through agreement, Gabon "may fully recognise and support this charitable service" which "will have beneficial effects on religious presence and on the dynamism of structures in the fields of social work and healthcare".

Benedict XVI then went on to refer to agreements concerning education signed in 2001, expressing his hope that they "become established at the diocesan level, as concerns education at all levels, especially that of higher education. The Church", he said, "wishes to maintain and develop quality teaching", and this "requires the support of the authorities and of the various services of the State".

Speaking of the "organisation of pastoral care in the armed forces" in Gabon, the Pope stressed the importance of the military "being able to form Christian communities under the guidance of a pastor capable of recognising and respecting the special status of the military world".

The Holy Father invited the "authorities and men and women of good will, especially on the beloved continent of Africa, to commit themselves ever more intensely to building a peaceful, fraternal and united world".

"Without justice", he said, "without fighting all forms of corruption, without respecting the rules of law, true peace is impossible and citizens will clearly find it difficult to put faith in their leaders.

Indeed, without respect for the freedom of each individual, it is not possible to speak of peace". In this context, the Pope indicated that the Church is ready to provide collaboration and support for "all those people whose primary concern is to build a society respectful of the most elemental rights of human beings".

Benedict XI concluded by highlighting how "the future is often seen in relation to purely economic questions, which lie at the origin of numerous conflicts. The inhabitants of the country must be the primary beneficiaries of the nation's natural wealth, and do everything possible to protect the planet, leaving future generations a truly inhabitable world capable of feeding all its people".


Below, Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, delivers opening remarks.

VATICAN CITY, 26 JUN 2008 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Holy Father received prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Honduras, who have just completed their "ad limina" visit.

"The Honduran people", the Pope told the prelates, "is characterised by a profound religious spirit which finds expression, among other things, in the numerous and deep-rooted practices of popular devotion. These practices, duly purified of elements alien to the faith, must become a practical instrument for announcing the Gospel. On the other hand, as happens elsewhere, the spread of secularism and the proselytism of sects represent a source of confusion for many faithful, also provoking the loss of a sense of belonging to the Church".

"An awareness of the enormous difficulties hindering your pastoral mission, far from discouraging you, should serve as a stimulus for a bold and far- reaching effort of evangelisation, founded - rather than on the effectiveness of material means and human plans - on the power of the Word of God, faithfully accepted, humbly experienced and trustingly announced", said Benedict XVI to the bishops

He then went on to highlight the "priceless" help of priests in the "vital task of announcing the Good News". And he invited the prelates to ensure their seminaries always have "the best formators and the most appropriate material resources, so that future priests may garner that human and spiritual ... maturity which the faithful need and have the right to expect from their pastors". He also recalled how, "despite the recent increase in vocations, the shortage of priests" is "rightly one of your chief concerns".

"One field deserving of particular attention", the Pope continued, "is that of marriage and the family, the solidity and stability of which is such a benefit to the Church and society. In this respect, it is right to recognise the important step taken by including an explicit recognition of marriage in your country's Constitution, although you well know it is not enough to possess good legislation if then we do not undertake the necessary cultural and catechetical labours that highlight "the truth and beauty of marriage, a perpetual alliance of life and love between a man and a woman".

"Alongside the announcement of the Word and the celebration of the Sacraments, the service of charity forms an essential part of the Church's mission", said Pope Benedict. Hence "bishops, as successors of the Apostles", must be "the foremost leaders of this service of charity in the particular Churches".

"I well know how you are affected by the poverty in which so many of your fellow citizens live, and by the increase in violence, emigration, environmental destruction, corruption and shortcomings in education, alongside other serious problems. As ministers of the Good Shepherd you have - through word and deed - worked intensely to assist the needy. I exhort you", the Holy Father concluded, "to continue through your ministry to show the merciful face of God, strengthening the network of charity in your diocesan and parish communities with particular concern for the sick, the elderly and the imprisoned".

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/27/2008 12:25 AM]
6/27/2008 5:10 AM
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Thanks to Amy Welborn, I find out that Patriarch Bartholomew's participation (profession
of the Creed, homily, and apostolic blessing) in the Mass at St. Peter's on the feast of
Saints Peter and Paul had been done once before - in 2004, at the initiative of Pope John Paul II.

The Office of Papal Liturgical Celebrations furnished this 'scenario' for the Mass at the time:

I hope Mons. Guido M. will do the same this year.

6/27/2008 4:18 PM
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Patriarch says Benedict has asked him
to address Bishops Synod in October

Translated from

June 26, 2008

The Patriarch and the Pope at the Catholic Church of the Holy Spirit in Istanbul on December 1, 2006.

For some reason, no one has apparently paid attention to a piece of information revealed in this exclusive interview conducted by an Italian journalist with Patriarch Bartholomew I in Istanbul earlier this week.

ISTANBUL - Imagine dinner at the house of the Greek Orthodox 'Pope'. In the almost surreal atmosphere of an Istanbul literally paralyzed and holding its collective breath for Turkey's semifinal match with Germany for the European football championship. [Turkey lost.]

His Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew I, had granted us this exclusive interview at his home on the eve of his trip to Rome for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul.

One is surprised by the extremely cordial and friendly welcome from the spiritual leader of 300 Orthodox Christians around the world. Although the Orthodox Church does not have the same central hierarchy that the Roman Catholic Church has, the Patriarch of Constantinople is 'first among equals' among all the Orthodox patriarchs including Alexei-II of Russia, who has been - despite signs of a supposed thaw in recent years - the major obstacle to closer Catholic-Orthodox relations.

One is also surprised by the extreme modesty of the Istanbul Patriarch's official home compared to the Vatican.

Bartholomew, who is Turkish, speaks several languages and is very much at home in Italian. His first gesture is a fraternal embrace before inviting us to a frugal dinner.

Holiness, the dialog among the Christian churches, which has received great impetus under Benedict XVI, appears to be in stasis at the moment. After your recent visits to Italy and the visit to Istanbul of Cardinal Cafarra of Bologna, after the Catholic-Orthodox theological sessions in Ravenna, there do not seem to be new signs of progress. What is the reason for this?
The ecumenical dialog is a clear commandment in the Gospel but also a profound desire in our hearts as it was for our unforgettable predecessors [starting with the historic encounter between Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras in Jerusalem in 1964, when they rescinded the mutual excommunications issued by their two Churches after the Great Schism of 1054].

The dialog will continue despite the difficulties which do exist and new ones which may arise. But this is not to say there has been an interruption - there has been a failure, rather, to accelerate the rapprochement, in part due to certain procedural questions which I believe are simply transitory.

These are questions I will discuss when I visit Benedict XVI in a few days, and when I return in the autumn, as the Pope has invited me to address the Catholic bishops from all over the world who will be meeting in Synod this October.

What can the Vatican and the Catholic Church do as concrete signs to promote this rapprochement?
I cannot say. These points have to be examined officially by the Catholic and Orthodox members of the Mixed International Commission for dialog, which is the competent authority.

Vatican diplomacy has been trying to improve relations with Moscow. An Italian was named Archbishop for the Catholic Cathedral of Moscow, and there are efforts to promote a meeting between the Pope and Patriarch Alexei.
Contacts with the heads of the different autocephalous Orthodox churches are necessarily bilateral and do not necessarily have to do with the overall relationship between the Eastern and Western Churches.

None of the autocephalous Orthodox Churches has the canonical right or power to address that question by itself without all the other
Churches. But considering that over time, Moscow had generally shown coldness and reluctance to deal with the Vatican and pursue a dialog with the Western Church, we can only express our joy at any thaw in this attitude.

The Orthodox Church has always had better relations with Islam compared to the Catholic Church. Do you think the Patriarch of Constantinople could be a mediator in bridging the gap between the two worlds?
As you know, the Church of Constantinople has co-existed for six centuries in a Muslim-dominated environment. It is essential for us to be in dialog with the Muslims - a dialog that should serve to better reciprocal knowledge about each other and the identification of important points of convergence between our two worlds.

We're not speaking here of theological and dogmatic issues but rather, common points of social and universal interest, for instance, in culture and art, justice and peace, charity; against violence, poverty, corruption, the exploitation and abuse of human beings, fanaticism and religious extremism; aid to the Third World, protection of the environment.

If we could work together on these fronts, then we would be contributing to improving the human condition on a global scale. Therefore, this means we have a great commitment and duty to overcome any present 'distances', and of course, I think Rome can well work within this framework.

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/28/2008 3:49 AM]
6/27/2008 4:38 PM
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THE POPE'S DAY, 6/27/08

The Holy Father met today with
- Cardinal Joseph Zen and the bishops of Hongkong and Macau, on ad limina visit. Address in Italian.
- Bishops of Honduras, Group 4, on ad limina visit.
- H.E. Ahmed Hamid Elfaki Hamid, Ambassador of the Sudan, on a farewell visit.
- Officials of the Vicariate of Rome, as Cardinal Camillo Ruini formally retires as the Pope's Vicar
in Rome, and the Pope names Cardinal Agostino Vallini to succeed him. Address in Italian.
- Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops (weekly meeting).

The Holy Father today named Mons. Raymond Burke, Archbishop of St. Louis (Missouri), to succeed
Cardinal Vallini as President of the Vatican's Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Segnatura, in effect,
the Church's Chief Justice for canonical law. He is the second American bishop named by Benedict XVI
to a top Curial position, after Cardinal Levada, and the first non-Italian named to the post.

Pope looks forward to when China
will allow its bishops to visit

Vatican City, June 27 (dpa) - Pope Benedict XVI on Friday told Hong Kong and Macao's top Roman Catholic clerics he "hopes and prays" their colleagues from mainland China will one day be allowed to visit Rome.

Benedict expressed his wish in a speech to the clerics, including the Archbishop of Hong Kong, Cardinal Joseph Zen, who met the pontiff at Vatican City.

Benedict said he looked forward to the day "when your Brother Bishops from mainland China can come to Rome on pilgrimage to the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul, as a sign of communion with the Successor of Peter and the Universal Church."

His words clearly referred to the condition of the state-sanctioned Catholic Church in mainland China, where it is prohibited by the Communist authorities from having contact with the Vatican or showing allegiance to the Pope.

In the rest of his speech to the visiting bishops, Benedict stressed the importance of training for young priests and thanked them for operating "well organized dioceses."

The Vatican does not have diplomatic relations with China whose officially atheist government cut ties in the early 1950s.

Benedict was seen to break new ground in relations with Beijing when in June 2007 he sent a letter to Chinese Catholics expressing admiration for the Chinese people, but also the need for greater religious freedom in China.


VATICAN CITY, 27 JUN 2008 (VIS) - Benedict XVI received 400 representatives from the Vicariate of Rome at the Vatican today in a a ceremony marking the retirement of Cardinal Camillo Ruini as the Pope's Vicar in Rome, and the appointment of his successor, Cardinal Agostino Vallini.

"The closing years of last century, and the first years of the new were a truly extraordinary time", said the Pope, "and all the more so for people who, like us, had the good fortune to experience them alongside a true giant of the faith and of the mission of the Church, my venerated predecessor".

Collaborating closely with John Paul II, "we were 'drawn along' by his exceptional spiritual strength, rooted in prayer, in profound union with the Lord Jesus Christ and in filial intimacy with His Most Holy Mother. John Paul II's missionary charisma had ... a decisive influence on his pontificate, in particular on the period of preparation for the Jubilee 2000. And this was directly evident in the diocese of Rome, the Pope's own diocese, thanks to the constant commitment of the cardinal vicar and his collaborators".

As an example of such commitment Benedict XVI mentioned "the Rome Citizens' Mission and the 'Dialogues in the Cathedral', manifestations of a Church which, at the very moment in which she was gaining a greater awareness of her own diocesan identity, ... opened herself ... to a missionary mentality ... destined to last not just the length of a season, but ... to become permanent".

The Pope said Cardinal Ruini, who was appointed Vicar of Rome in 1991, showed great concern for the mission, a concern "backed up by an outstanding capacity for theological and philosophical reflection. ... The apostolate, especially in our own time, must be constantly nourished by thought in order to explain the significance of gestures and actions which otherwise lapse into sterile activism", he said.

Referring to fields in which Cardinal Ruini and the then Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had worked together, the Pope recalled the diocesan ecclesial conferences "called to respond to the most urgent pastoral questions, while taking account of the social and cultural context of the city".

The Holy Father also mentioned the "cultural project", an initiative of the Italian Church which calls attention "to the Church's place in society; in other words the desire of the Christian community - responding to the mission of its Lord - to be present among men and women, and in history, with a plan for mankind, family and social relationships, inspired by the Word of God and expressed through dialogue with the culture of the time.

"In this, dear cardinal", the Pope added, "you have given an example that goes beyond the initiatives of the moment, an example of commitment to 'thinking the faith' in absolute conformity to the Magisterium of the Church, with careful attention to the teachings of the bishop of Rome and, at the same time, while constantly listening to the questions that arise from contemporary culture and from the problems of modern society".

In closing, Benedict XVI greeted Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the new vicar of the diocese of Rome and until now prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. Welcoming him to his new office, the Pope said "I entrust it to you bearing in mind the pastoral experience you gained first as auxiliary in the great archdiocese of Naples, then as bishop of Albano, to which experiences you add proven gifts of wisdom and cordiality".

Pope names canon law expert
new Rome vicar

VATICAN CITY, June 27 (AFP) - Pope Benedict XVI on Friday named a specialist in canon law, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, as vicar of the Rome diocese, replacing retiring conservative Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Vatican announced.

Vallini, 68, is nine years younger than his predecessor and described as much less interested in political issues.

By tradition, the Pope is the Bishop of Rome, so he names a vicar to assist him.

Vallini, whom Pope Benedict made a cardinal in March 2006, has served the past four years at the head of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican's highest judicial authority.

The Rome diocese, symbolically the most important in the world, counts 336 parishes and nearly 6,000 priests -- though two-thirds of them belong to religious orders and work mainly outside of the parish structure.

The Italian capital has a population of some 2.8 million.

Ruini, who had headed the Rome diocese from 1991, stepped down last year as president of the Italian Bishops Conference and was replaced by Genoa Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco.

The division of labour between Vallini and Bagnasco will enable Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State and the Pope's right-hand man, to call most of the shots in the Italian Catholic Church, observers say. [This media tendency to treat the Vatican hierarchy as if it was a political cabinet is truly reprehensible. Cardinal Bertone does not call the shots in the Church - nor did Cardinal Ruini. The Pope does.]

Pope names St. Louis archbishop
to head the Vatican's 'Supreme Court'

VATICAN CITY, June 27 (AP) - Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis, a church law expert known for his tough stance that politicians who support abortion rights be denied Holy Communion, was named Friday to head the Vatican's supreme court.

Pope Benedict XVI's appointment of the American prelate was part of a small shuffle: the previous head of the court, Italian Cardinal Agostino Vallini, was named as the Pontiff's Vicar for the diocese of Rome.

Vallini replaces Cardinal Camillo Ruini, a powerful figure in the Italian church over the past 17 years, as the Pope's vicar for Rome. Ruini is retiring.

Burke, who will move to Rome, will head the Apostolic Signatura — as the supreme court is called.

The court resolves jurisdictional disputes among various Vatican tribunals and hears procedural appeals from the Rota, which reviews marriage annulments.

Benedict and his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, have complained for years that local tribunals grant an excessive number of annulments.

The supreme court is traditionally headed by a cardinal.

In 2004, Burke caused a stir by saying he would deny Communion to the Democratic presidential nominee, John Kerry, because of the Massachusetts senator's stance supporting abortion rights. Most bishops spoke only in general terms on the issue without naming names.

No successor for St. Louis was immediately announced.

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/28/2008 3:24 PM]
6/28/2008 2:45 PM
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So it's NO from the Lefebvrians?!?! Apart from Reuters, none of the other usual MSM outlets have so far dared to report on this- and even this report is paradoxically less assertive and categorical than Heneghan's earlier report based on a June 20 sermon by Mons. Fellay.

Breakaway Catholics challenge
papal ultimatum

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor

PARIS, June 27 (Reuters) - A breakaway traditionalist group has told the Vatican it cannot comply with a papal ultimatum on returning to the Roman Catholic Church because it skirts key issues of their dispute, a spokesman said on Friday.

Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the Society of Saint Pius X (SPPX) opposed to Church reforms introduced in the 1960s, said there must be an agreement on doctrinal differences before any accord could be possible, Rev. Alain Lorans said.

Fellay said last week the ultimatum, which demanded the SSPX accept Pope Benedict's authority and refrain from faulting him publicly, was unacceptable and aimed at silencing critics.

"He rejects the procedure he is being subject to," Lorans said by telephone from the SSPX seminary in Econe, Switzerland. "If we want a canonical accord that doesn't collapse in a few weeks, we must deal with the fundamental questions of doctrine."

In 1988, Rome excommunicated SSPX founder Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and four bishops -- including Fellay -- he ordained against Pope John Paul's orders. The SSPX has since lobbied for the bans to be lifted but refused the Vatican's conditions.

Keen to end the schism, Benedict last year restored the old Latin Mass, a key SSPX demand. But he insists the group must accept the reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) before he can lift the excommunication decrees against them.

The ultimatum issued this month avoided mentioning the Council reforms, but its requirement to respect the Pope and the Church's doctrinal authority implied acceptance of them.

"In an ultimatum, which is an emergency procedure, these things should be explicit," Lorans said, adding that Fellay's letter to the Vatican on Thursday was confidential.

The letter was sent before the end of the month, as requested by the Vatican, but the spokesman added: "You can say he's not responding (to the ultimatum), despite answering it."

The SSPX also had reservations about a requirement to fully accept the magisterium, or doctrinal authority of the Church.

Fellay "accepts to respect the Pope and not take the place of the magisterium of the Church, except if there is something in the post-Council magisterium that is opposed to the magisterium of 2,000 years," Lorans said. [But how can they reject Vatican-II which is part of the Magisterium and which does not contradict any of the Church's previous Magisterium? For instance, recognition of religious freedom wa always part of the Magisterium - Hinduism and Buddhism existed long before Christianity did - without precluding the Church's missionary duty in any way!]

The SSPX claims about a million followers worldwide, many of them in France. It has long lobbied the Vatican to withdraw the excommunications and allow it to return to the 1.1-billion strong Church, but also regularly criticized the Pope.

In a sermon last week, Fellay said the ultimatum aimed at silencing the SSPX. "Rome is telling us, okay, we are ready to lift the excommunications, but you cannot continue this way," Fellay said at an SSPX seminary in Winona, Minnesota.

"So we have no choice... we are continuing what we've done," he said. "They just say 'shut up' ... We are not going ... to shut up."


Just like the extremists on the left, the Lefebvrians err in their arrogance and lack of charity - insisting that their views must prevail over the constituted Magisterium!


Father Zuhlsdorf has an update with statements made by Mons. Fellay himself in a radio interview given today:

Bp. Fellay interview by Radio Svizzera:
didn’t totally reject the Conditions

By Father John Zuhsldorf o{]:¬)

On Saturday 28 June 2008, twenty years to the day after his illicit episcopal consecration at Econe, Switzerland, which resulted in his excommunication and the split between the SSPX and the Catholic Church, Bp. Bernard Fellay, now Superior General of the SSPX has given an interview to Radio Svizzera, in Italian.

I captured the audio, lest it cycle off of that website and become too hard to dig up.

In the past few days some media outlets have picked up on something that Fellay said in his rambling sermon in Winona, MN, on 20 June, as well as hard line comments of two of the other excommunicated bishops, Williamson and Galaretta, and have made the assumption that the SSPX, Fellay in particular, have rejected the Five Conditions offered them by the Holy See as a preamble to continuing fruitful dialogue.

I think the usual media suspects are somewhat misreading the situation. For example, I parsed the report from AFP and from Reuters. The Reuters story is a good example of how some reporters have misread the situation.

When I parsed Bp. Fellay’s sermon in Winona in this PODCAzT I gave my opinion that Bp. Fellay, under tremendous pressure from the hard liners both in the SSPX and from the "benefactors" (read: money), takes a hard line in sermons and public addresses to keep spirits high.

Also, he is prone to ramble a bit in his preaching and, at a certain point, he works himself up and takes a swipe at the Pope and Curia. This is probably well received by some listeners.

Furthermore, Fellay is between a rock and a hard spot.

What he said at Winona, though it sounds very defiant and resolved, didn’t actually go so far as to violate explicitly any of the Conditions Rome offered and which Fellay and the SSPX haven’t still publicly renounced in an official way.

Then we learned yesterday that the Fellay and the SSPX decided they would write a letter to Rome to respond that they weren’t going to respond to the Conditions.

Effectively, I think what this means is that they won’t accept the premise that they are doing anything wrong (big surprise there!) but that they still want dialogue. In the future we will see if in action they change they style of speech about the Pope and their position on reunion in a more positive way.

That is to say, though they are afraid to cause a split in the SSPX were they to sign off on those conditions openly, perhaps they could skirt the issue by saying they wouldn’t accept the premise of the conditions but then begin to modify their style a bit anyway.

This is my speculation, now that it seems that we are not going to hear much more from them.

Now we have this Radio Svizzera interview. I do not have a transcript of the interview and won’t make one myself. But here are the essential points.

Bp. Bernard Fellay had an interview on the Radio Svizzera:

The interviewer put the first question in terms of the SSPX having rejecting the offer, that on Friday for an ordination, it was announced that the SSPX rejected the ultimatum. But Fellay corrected him saying that that is not quite accurate. Fellay said that it is perhaps false to say that "reject".

"Maybe it is false to say so directly that I reject, that I have made a complete refusal. That’s not true. Rather, I see in this ultimate something very vague and confused".

But isn’t this the last chance to reunite with Rome, during this favorable time with Pope Benedict XVI?

Fellay repeated that this ultimatum makes no sense (non ha senso) because they do, in fact, have a dialogue with Rome, even if it is slow (but) Rome wants to speed things up.

Fellay claims that they want to continue dialogue, SSPX wants to continue the dialogue. For Fellay dialogue might be "chilly" right now but it is not over.

The interviewer asked if Rome will lose patience, is the SSPX at risk, will be it more and more marginalized?

Fellay said that more more people are coming to the SSPX. They don’t want to break with the Church. They desire to be accepted into the Church and do good for the Church. They are defenders of tradition.

This interview is in Italian. Maybe someone will make a transcript.

The bottom line:

The leadership of the SSPX are afraid of an internal rupture more than anything else. They can’t explicitly reject the Conditions offered by the Holy See. Therefore they are trying to steer a middle course by rejecting a seconday premise of the conditions which was explicitly state (Don’t speak disrespectfully about the Pope and put on airs about their own "magisterium") without rejecting the true premise underlying them (Who is the Bishop of Rome and who are you without him?).

The code language to listen for in future comments by the leadership of the SSPX will be things like "the conditions don’t make sense – we do have dialogue even though it is slow – what’s the hurry".


And New Catholic at
has a translation of Mons. Fellay's actual statements:

Saturday, June 28, 2008
Fellay: "I have already written a response
and we will see how Rome will react"

The Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bishop Bernard Fellay, granted today an interview to Gino Driussi, of RTSI (the Italian-language Swiss public radio), providing some very enlightening answers:

[17:45][Fellay:] Perhaps it is false to say, in such a way, directly, that I reject, that I propose a total rejection [of the conditions], that is not true. Rather, I see in this ultimatum a very vague, confused thing. But, in fact, I have already written a response and we will see how Rome will react.
[18:53] [Fellay:] For me, this ultimatum has no sense, because we have relations with Rome which go forward in a certain speed, which is truly slow. And it is true, on the other hand, that both the Cardinal [Castrillón Hoyos] and the Holy Father would wish for a rather accelerated speed. For me, the only meaning of this ultimatum is the expression of this desire of Rome to give it a little bit of haste. And for me it is not a reconsideration of all our relations.

[Interviewer:] "Then, you expect to continue in the dialogue, thus?"

[Fellay:] Yes, yes, it is possible that there will now be a time of more, of coolness, but, frankly, for me, it is not over, no.

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/28/2008 5:34 PM]
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