Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Calling the question

The very question that the "Boise Chapter" has placed on the table at the Lay Provincial Council was addressed by Pope Benedict XVI on Dec 21 in his address to the Roman Curia. Sandro Magister has a translation of a good portion of the text in the article Surprise: The Pope Takes the Curia to Brazil


DISCORSO DI SUA SANTITÀ BENEDETTO XVI
ALLA CURIA ROMANA IN OCCASIONE
DELLA PRESENTAZIONE DEGLI AUGURI NATALIZI


And, finally, Aparecida. [...]It was so good for us to gather there and create the document on the theme "Disciples and missionaries of Jesus Christ, so that they may have life in Him." Of course, someone might ask immediately: Was this really the right theme, at this moment of history in which we are living? Was this not, perhaps, excessively directed toward interiority, at a time when the great challenges of history, the urgent matters of justice, peace, and freedom require the full engagement of all men of good will, and in a particular way of the Christian world and the Church? Shouldn't these problems have been confronted instead, rather than retreating into the interior world of the faith?

We will put off this objection for the moment. Before responding to this, in fact, it is necessary to understand well the theme itself in its true significance; once this is done, the response to the objection takes shape on its own.

Two years ago, in his Christmas address to the curia, the pope spoke of the false hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture and the true hermeneutic of reform. That he this year would speak of something that is directly related to the consequence of how one lives out the true faith, does not surprise me. That there is resistance from those who have embraced what is false; well, no surprise there either.

Last year, in his address to the Curia, he stressed that the path to peace, the way, is Jesus; Deus Caritas Est. Do you see a pattern here?




Here, Sandro Magister comments on the Doctrinal Note on Evangelization

Overturned: the Church can and must Evangelize

ROMA, December 17, 2007 – "It is an exact order from the Lord, and it does not allow for any sort of exemption. He did not tell us: Preach the Gospel to every creature, except for the Muslims, the Jews, and the Dalai Lama."

This is the preaching of Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, archbishop of Bologna, in a celebrated address he gave nine days after September 11, 2001.

And this is also the message – in less explosive words, but essentially the same – of the "Doctrinal note on some aspects of evangelization" released by the congregation for the doctrine of the faith last Friday, December 14.

The note had been in reserve for a number of years, from when Joseph Ratzinger was still prefect of the congregation. What made it "necessary" – as the introduction states – was the "growing confusion" over the Church's duty to proclaim Jesus to the world.

"This confusion has even penetrated within the missionary institutes," the congregation's secretary, Angelo Amato, lamented in an interview on Vatican Radio. "No more proclaiming Christ, no invitation to conversion, no baptism, no Church. Only social activism."

At the origin of this chilling of the Church's missionary spirit, to the point of its extinction, the note indicates various causes.

Above all, there is the idea that every religion is a way of salvation as valid as all the rest. [...]


The link, again:
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH

DOCTRINAL NOTE
ON SOME ASPECTS OF EVANGELIZATION

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