"The Preachers chiefly shall take heed that they teach nothing in their preaching, which they would have the people religiously to observe and believe, but that which is agreeable to the Doctrine of the Old Testament and the New, and that which the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have gathered out of that Doctrine." A proposed canon of Elizabeth I, 1571

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Location: Bedford, Texas, United States

I am a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America). I serve as Chaplain at St. Vincent's School and as a canon of St. Vincent's Cathedral Church in Bedford, Texas. In addition to my parish duties and teaching Religion classes in the school I am also the Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Michael Liccione on the Pope's "Program"

Michael Liccione has posted an interesting essay on Pope Benedict's "program in office" on Pontifications. Liccione's entire essay may be read here. An excerpt:

"The way to restore the Church's credibility today, for believers and unbelievers alike, is for Catholics in general to become genuine Catholics again: to form a more intentional community by anchoring life and history in 'solid spiritual references.' That is why the still-new pope is so interested in improving both the celebration of the Roman liturgy and ecumenical ties with the Orthodox. Solid indeed, and ancient in pedigree. That is why, beyond all motives of ecclesiastico-political self-interest, he is so uncompromising in his opposition to EU secularism and the ever-widening 'culture of death.' ... Benedict wants to re-interiorize Catholicism by a spiritual ressourcement replacing the polluted waters of progressivism and materialism with sap drawn anew from the healthiest old roots. It's the vision of Vatican II, but minus all the breathy optimism about that world which entered the Church with a vengeance when her windows were opened. It's time to clean up a lot of what blew in."
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Randall,

A very interesting suggestion, and while I'm sure it makes a proper connection, I wonder if perhaps the primary emphasis is being put in the wrong direction. No doubt liturgy is part of Benedict's notion of apologetics via recovery of tradition. But given his connection with the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar, something else may be primarily intended which is being lost in attention to liturgy.

In vB, the greatest beauty and glory in the created world is not the liturgy but the saint. “The doxa of the gracious God who descends on the sanctuary of creation is, in essence, the man who has been conformed to God. Gloria Dei vivens homo [Irenaeus]” (Seeing the Form, 455).

This seems particularly relevant given Benedict's emphasis on seeking God in the manner of St. Benedict of Nursia and his attention to apologetics. For, on the one hand, Benedict's Rule does not contain the extravagant liturgy later developed by (say) Cluny, but seems to focus on the development of the monk in community.

On the other hand, vB places immense apologetic value in the sanctity of the person. “It is not dry manuals (full as these may be of unquestionable truths) that express with plausibility for the world the truth of Christ’s Gospel; it is the existence of the saints who have been grasped by Christ’s Holy Spirit. And Christ himself foresaw no other kind of apologetics” (ibid., 494).

Which is not to say that vB would set the saint against the liturgy, nor that Benedict does not intend the liturgy to be part of program. I don't follow the pope's statements as closely as I should; but it did seem to me that perhaps his comments were being taken a little too liturgically (particularly on Liccione's site, with its comments).

Anyway, I'm glad that I finally had something to post, and I hope all's well with you. What's with invoking eminent domain to build a Cowboys stadium? If one's land isn't sacred in Texas, what is?


10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to "if one's land isn't sacred in Texas, what is?"

A: Football and the Dallas Cowboys, of course!!!

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That last comment was obviously from me - Becky Jo

10:52 AM  

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