Archive for December 5th, 2007

Rule of Benedict XVI

I just finished up an excellent book on The Rule of Benedict: Pope Benedict XVI and His Battle with the Modern World (Hardcover)

The author David Gibson draws some of his material from The Ratzinger Report
An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church
and from Cardinal Ratzinger: The Vatican’s Enforcer of the Faith but if you haven’t read either one of those books it’s well worth your time & money.

For a layman trying to wrap ones hands around what exactly happened at Vatican II, the forces behind it and what (in good faith) were they trying to accomplish is an impossible task without a program of who’s who’s at the council. Even then it depends on who’s glasses your viewing that list.

There are generally two camps acknowledged following ressourcement and aggiornamento. The former grasping at the past to deal with the future and the latter looking at the present to get to the future.

The difference as Gibson says on pg.164 was “a spilt between Augustinian and Thomists, Platonists and Aristotelians.” The former group was Henri De Lubac and Jean Danielou and the latter was Rahner, Kung and Schillebeeckx. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know who won out in that group for the next 30 years after the council.

My favorite paragraph in the book is here

“In the first session, Ratzinger was enthusiastic about reforming the liturgy, especially de-emphasizing latin, which he described as an “archaeological” relic, “a picture so encrusted that the original image could hardly be seen” as Nichols puts it. pg164-65

…But as the council progressed, the aggiornamento camp gained the initiative to the extent that Ratzinger felt the church was clearly moving into the future by jettisoning the past. “pg165

It was the reforming of the liturgy that branded Ratzinger as a liberal with the traditional SSPX and others of that stripe and as a hard line conservative to the aggiornamento camp in the coming years. I think the confusion on him exists to this day. Growing drums from traditionalists recognize in Ratzinger move towards the liberalization of the latin mass as one who is regaining his senses. And the growing moans of the liberals as a suppression of the spirit of Vatican II.

I strongly suspect (simply my gut) that there is a middle ground from the Vat. II ressourcement camp of which Ratzinger was a leading propoent that is still unfolding. How the opposing camps of trads on the one-hand or the spirit of Vatican II groups on the other will reject or accept it is anyone guess. Vat. II as intended by the council fathers has IMO yet to be implemented. The silent praying middle (of which I claim to be) who have endured the liturgical abuses with the church these past 40 years will have the final say guided by the Holy Spirit.

For those Anglican readers I would suggest this may help in understanding what the difference is between say a Cardinal Kasper on the one hand,whom I view as being in the aggiornamento camp and Pope Benedict XVI in the ressourcement camp.

Other reviews Whispers in the Loggia and an interview of the author David Gibson by Busted Halo.


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