Pope Benedict XVI
The following items are tagged Pope Benedict XVI
What are you interested in?
- Pope Benedict XVI and Archbishop Vincent Nichols
- Pope Benedict XVI and Austen Ivereigh
- Pope Benedict XVI and Bishop Terence Drainey
- Pope Benedict XVI and Catholic Youth Work
- Pope Benedict XVI and Condoms
- Pope Benedict XVI and Liturgy
- Pope Benedict XVI and Papal Visit
- Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis
- Pope Benedict XVI and Prayer
- Pope Benedict XVI and St Wilfrid
- Pope Benedict XVI and The Tablet
- Pope Benedict XVI and World Youth Day
Blogged by James Preece 1 Month ago...
We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one's own ego and desires.
But there is another form of poverty! It is the spiritual poverty of our time, which afflicts the so-called richer countries particularly seriously. It is what my much-loved predecessor, Benedict XVI, called the “tyranny of relativism”, which makes everyone his own criterion and endangers the coexistence of peoples. And that brings me to a second reason for my name. Francis of Assisi tells us we should work to build peace. But there is no true peace without truth! There cannot be true peace if everyone is his own criterion, if everyone can always claim exclusively his own rights, without at the same time caring for the good of others, of everyone, on the basis of the nature that unites every human being on this earth.
I know this is difficult and subtle, because Pope Francis is using words to say what he means - not like the simple world of wardrobe semaphore - but it seems to me that Pope Francis is trying to tell us something...
Perhaps he is saying (Why not just wear blue shoes or something? That would have been simpler..) that "there can be no true peace without truth".
Was he wearing a hat when he said it or not? I'm sure that matters.
h/t Laurence England
Blogged by James Preece 2 Months ago...
What sort of Pope goes around asking people to pray for him? Even protestants! How radical this new Pope is...
And I also appeal to all men - to every man (and with what veneration the apostle of Christ must utter this word: "man"!)
- pray for me!
- help me to be able to serve you! Amen.
Oh wait... that was Pope John Paul II at his inauguration
Let me try again...
My dear friends – at this moment I can only say: pray for me, that I may learn to love the Lord more and more. Pray for me, that I may learn to love his flock more and more – in other words, you, the holy Church, each one of you and all of you together. Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves. Let us pray for one another, that the Lord will carry us and that we will learn to carry one another.
Oh wait... that was Pope Benedict XVI at his inauguration.
It's almost as though Pope Francis is doing pretty much what Popes do so far as asking for prayers is concerned. Only, so far as I know he is yet to address us as his "dear friends".
Is he stuffy, regal and exclusive or something?
Blogged by James Preece 2 Months ago...
Not so very long ago a boring, sheltered, stuffy, regal, distant, conservative Pope who never ever did anything radical sat down for a book length interview and explained to the world that condoms are wonderful and their use should be urged.
Remember that one?
I do. Though I remember it slightly differently. I remember that Pope Benedict said that "in the intention" (e.g. not in the condom) there was "a first step in the direction of" (e.g. not an arrival at) "toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed". Note that the awareness is moved towards something.
This is a million miles from saying that the act itself is made good by the presence of a condom, or that adding a condom to the act is a good thing. In fact, to make himself extra clear, Pope Benedict added that condom use "is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection" and that condoms were not to be regarded as "a real or moral solution".
Properly understood I thought that was quite reasonable, though it was a bit naive of Benedict to think he could say something so subtle without his words being abused.
Within hours, the BBC headline read "Pope condones condom use" and our friend Austen Ivereigh went on to say that "urging a promiscuous infected person to at least use a condom" was now "Catholic pastoral practice."
Note the contradiction - Pope Benedict said condom use was not "a real or moral solution". Austen Ivereigh heard those words and thought "ah, I get it - condom use must be Catholic pastoral practice". This is a man who, if you believe the rumours, can even tie his own shoelaces.
That didn't suprise me. What suprised me was that people believed him. All over the blogs I saw normally sensible Catholics wailing and saying "Benedict has said condoms ar okay, he must have done, because The Tablet and the BBC say so". Nobody seemed to be looking at what Benedict actually said in the first place.
Please guys, don't fall for it again.
I mention this because Ivereigh and the gang are once again in full spin mode with their stories of limousines "shunned" and thrones "ignored". Give me a break. I don't deny that Pope Francis rode on the bus with the other cardinals and chose to greet them standing.. but shunning? ignoring?
Those meanings were added by the man who took "not a real or moral solution" and turned it in to "Catholic pastoral practice".
Then they tell us Pope Francis "spontaneously" stroked a dog. Stroking a dog? Ooooh how down to earth, how radical. Because, as the fathers of the Birmingham Oratory will tell you - Pope Benedict never ever made spontaneous gestures toward animals. Or was tickling a cat behind the ears while saying "aren’t you pretty, aren’t you pretty?" not spontaneous enough?
If we are not careful, there is a real danger that everything Pope Francis does will be reported through a lens, so that what we experience through the media in England will not be the papacy of Pope Francis, but the papacy of Ivereigh, Pepinster and Mickens.
You have the internet - read Pope Francis's words directly. See what he is saying and please: Don't believe the lie that Pope Benedict was a stuffy, distant, regal Pope who always stuck to protocol. He wasn't and he didn't - but these people will re-write history if you let them.
Don't let them get away with it.
Blogged by James Preece 2 Months ago...
It's been a few years now since I appeared on TV to defend Pope Benedict in a discussion entitled "Is Pope Benedict a liability?" at the time I said no, but with hindsight I'm tempted to rethink my answer.
Yes - Pope Benedict was a liability, of course he was.
If you've put all your eggs in the secularist basket. If you've bet against God. If you're counting on the Catholic Church choosing to accomodate the world more and more until it slowly disolves to a mushy nothingness all but indistinguishable from the culture around it... If you were hoping that the Truth you killed in the sixties would stay dead and buried.
Then yes, Pope Benedict was a liability to you.
If you have looked around you and seen a civilisation whose philosophical ideas have no stronger basis in reality than "who am I to say?" and whose economic and demographic woes are routinely masked by insane borrowing against a future that does not exist.
If you have wondered if perhaps there might be more to life than killing the young before they are born and killing the old before they are expensive all in the name of short term illusionary wealth and freedom from the natural consequences of sexual activity.
If you have studied science and explored the limits of technology and been fascinated and excited by the wonders of the natural world and yet in your heart have known that it was all dust being moved around by other dust in to arbitary forms that have no meaning without a soul to look upon them.
If you have wondered who you are, why you are here, what this is all for?
Then Pope Benedict was far from a liability.
He didn't bring us his own ideas, theories and pet projects. He didn't force the Church to conform to his liturgical preferences (though I wish he had). It's not just that he didn't go all trendy on us and try to rap the psalms, it's that he didn't even do the things I would have approved of either.
No. He did something so obvious, so brilliant, so wonderful I could never have anticipated it.
He gave us Jesus.
In all his addresses, encyclicals, homilies and world youth day's he never sat us down and lectured us on theology. He simply told us about Jesus. If we only learn one thing from the papacy of Benedict XVI, let it be that - We need to talk to people about Jesus.
Blogged by James Preece 3 Months ago...
Pope Benedict speaking to the clergy of Rome via Vatican Radio...
I would now like to add yet a third point: there was the Council of the Fathers - the true Council - but there was also the Council of the media. It was almost a Council in and of itself, and the world perceived the Council through them, through the media. So the immediately efficiently Council that got thorough to the people, was that of the media, not that of the Fathers.
And while the Council of the Fathers evolved within the faith, it was a Council of the faith that sought the intellectus, that sought to understand and try to understand the signs of God at that moment, that tried to meet the challenge of God in this time to find the words for today and tomorrow.
So while the whole council - as I said - moved within the faith, as fides quaerens intellectum, the Council of journalists did not, naturally, take place within the world of faith but within the categories of the media of today, that is outside of the faith, with different hermeneutics. It was a hermeneutic of politics.
The media saw the Council as a political struggle, a struggle for power between different currents within the Church. It was obvious that the media would take the side of whatever faction best suited their world... There was no interest in the liturgy as an act of faith, but as a something to be made understandable, similar to a community activity, something profane. And we know that there was a trend, which was also historically based, that said: "Sacredness is a pagan thing, possibly even from the Old Testament. In the New Testament the only important thing is that Christ died outside: that is, outside the gates, that is, in the secular world".
Sacredness ended up as profanity even in worship: worship is not worship but an act that brings people together, communal participation and thus participation as activity. And these translations, trivializing the idea of the Council, were virulent in the practice of implementing the liturgical reform, born in a vision of the Council outside of its own key vision of faith. And it was so, also in the matter of Scripture: Scripture is a book, historical, to treat historically and nothing else, and so on.
And we know that this Council of the media was accessible to all. So, dominant, more efficient, this Council created many calamities, so many problems, so much misery, in reality: seminaries closed, convents closed liturgy trivialized ... and the true Council has struggled to materialize, to be realized: the virtual Council was stronger than the real Council.
But the real strength of the Council was present and slowly it has emerged and is becoming the real power which is also true reform, true renewal of the Church.
It seems to me that 50 years after the Council, we see how this Virtual Council is breaking down, getting lost and the true Council is emerging with all its spiritual strength. And it is our task, in this Year of Faith, starting from this Year of Faith, to work so that the true Council with the power of the Holy Spirit is realized and Church is really renewed. We hope that the Lord will help us.
Blogged by James Preece 3 Months ago...
Pope Benedict speaking to seminarians in Rome a few days ago...
Naturally, there is a false optimism and a false pessimism. A false pessimism that says: the time of Christianity is finished.
No: it is beginning again!
The false optimism was that after the Council, when the convents were closing, the seminaries were closing, and they were saying: but it's nothing, everything's fine...
No! Everything is not fine.
There are also grave, dangerous downfalls, and we must recognize with healthy realism that this is not all right, it is not all right when wrongful things are done. But also to be sure, at the same time, that if here and there the Church is dying because of the sins of men, because of their unbelief, at the same time it is being born anew.
The future really does belong to God: this is the great certainty of our life, the great, true optimism that we know. The Church is the tree of God that lives forever and bears within itself eternity and the true inheritance: eternal life.”
Blogged by James Preece 3 Months ago...
As others have said, Pope Benedict XVI is/was the first Pope people of my generation really knew and experienced firsthand rather than just through stories.
I first encountered the then Cardinal Ratzinger through a tattered copy of The Ratzinger Report which I flicked through before being assured by everybody that such a man could never become Pope because of his outrageous views on which way altars ought to face etc. Oops.
While he failed to get in a plane and fly around the world sacking Bishops (unreasonable or what!?) he has succeeded over the last seven years in taking those outrageous unspeakable views and making them, if not mainstream, then at least speakable.
Those of us who grew up wondering why the grown ups had taken everything beautiful and smashed it found in him at last someone who would blow the dust off the old boxes in the attic and show us not how things used to be, but how things could be.
Pope Benedict took things that had been consigned to history and made them a gift to our generation.
I for one am very grateful.
Blogged by James Preece 6 Months ago...
I'm getting quite good at the inverse journalism game now.
When a friend or family member says "What do you think about the Pope's ban on ice cream" you can usually guarantee 99% of the time it wasn't the Pope, it was a Vatican official or a journalist in the Vatican newspaper and 99% of the time they just said something mundane about too much ice cream making people fat.
Okay, so I made the ice cream thing up. Here are some genuine, real, bona-fide headlines for you...
Killjoy Pope crushes Christmas nativity traditions: New Jesus book reveals there were no donkeys beside crib, no lowing oxen and definitely no carols
Nativity panic as Pope rubbishes donkey myth
What do you reckon? Did the Pope "crush" or "rubbish" anything?
Are donkey statues being smashed and nativity scripts burned across europe?
Has Catholic teaching changed?
No. Yawn. Far more boring...
Pope Benedict's new book on the childhood of Jesus says something mundane about the biblical accounts of the nativity. E.g. that there is no mention of donkeys. This has been pretty obvious to anybody with a Bible for quite a while now. So what? It's not news.
Ah.. but we could make it news...
This is what it comes down to - newspapers fabricating a "killjoy Pope" "Nativity panic" story out of nothing. Because they don't exist to inform, they exist to sell newspapers.
So next time you read about the Pope crushing, denouncing or otherwise cracking down on something. Next time you hear that the Church just 'revealed' something or decided to do something major like allowing condoms via a small ambiguously worded moment in an interview...
Perhaps you could do a quick google and find out what really happened?
Blogged by James Preece 1 Year ago...
Vatican City, 15 February 2012 (VIS) - "In today's social environment, families with many children are witnesses of faith, courage and optimism, because without children there is no future". The Pope addressed these words to representatives from the Italian National Association of Large Families who were attending his general audience this morning. "I hope", Benedict XVI went on, "that adequate social and legislative measures will continue to be promoted to support and protect larger families, who are a source of wealth and hope for the entire country".
Bonkers! It's almost as though he thinks the existence of people can be a good thing!
Today's children definitely won't get jobs, pay taxes, start businesses, do scientific research, care for the elderly, volunteer for charities or any of the other myriad of ways in which living breathing human beings can benefit the world in a way a bank balance alone never can.
Nope. They will simply consume resources. Gobble gobble gobble.
Meanwhile in the real world all sensible people know that the economy is a magic money machine that creates wealth on it's own from nothing just so long as we don't make more babies than it can handle.
Blogged by James Preece 1 Year ago...
It's been a while now since Pope Benedict's words in "Light of the World" about condoms. I did not personally find them very troubling because it was clear what Pope Benedict was saying, I was however troubled by the spin put out by people who wanted to claim he was saying something else. I ended up thinking that perhaps we would have been better off if he had said nothing on the matter at all.
By way of a reminder, he said...
Pope Benedict: There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection.
Peter Seewald: Are you saying, then, that the Catholic Church is actually not opposed in principle to the use of condoms?
Pope Benedict: She of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but, in this or that case, there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality.
If we read the words in the proper order we see that Pope Benedict qualifies his sentences very well. He speaks only of a "first step" or "a movement toward" (e.g. not an arrival at a destination) and he refers to "intentions" and not actions. In short, he is a million miles from saying "using a condom to prevent aids is okay"
Of course, some people find that if they throw all these words in a pan and fry them up they can make an ommelette with the word "moral" and the word "condom" in the order they want.
Dr Austen Ivereigh for example, took the Pope's words (and the resulting CDF clarification) to mean this...
There is an important line in the CDF's clarification which is likely to pass unnoticed but which is, I believe, central to the Vatican strategy -- and I am sure it is a strategy -- for breaking the ice over this issue. It is that Pope Benedict's words do not signify any change "in the pastoral practice of the Church".
In other words, urging a promiscuous infected person to at least use a condom -- assuming that they are not ready or willing or able (and remember, many prostitutes in Africa sell their bodies to feed their children) -- is Catholic pastoral practice. That pastoral counsel is the beginning of a journey, as the Pope says -- the start of choosing life over death, morality over immorality.
See that? Urging condom use is "Catholic pastoral practice", as I said at the time never have I seen such flagrant abuse of the phrase "in other words".
The Pope's words above relate specifically to the intentions of somebody who chooses a wrong method but at least is taking the first step towards realising there might be a right choice. Dr Ivereigh thinks that means we should urge people to use the wrong method.
Anyways, I mention all this today because while the above has been spread far and wide by the promoters of ambiguity, Dr Ivereigh and co have been strangely silent about the following which was recently submitted to the United Nations by the Holy See...
The Holy See reaffirms its reservations with the Resolution, especially regarding its references to “sexual and reproductive health” since the Holy See does not consider abortion or abortion services to be a dimension of such terms and regarding the term “family planning” as the Holy See in no way endorses contraception or the use of condoms, either as a family planning measure or in HIV/AIDS prevention programmes.
In other words (ahem) the Holy See does not endorse contraception or the use of condoms in HIV/AIDS prevention programmes.
Strange - if urging condom use is Catholic pastoral practice then why on earth is the Holy See going to the trouble of telling the UN that the use of condoms in HIV/AIDs prevention programmes is in no way endorsed?