More Benedict

Here are the links to the Pentecost homily and Regina Caeli address last week. RC2 is particularly struck by this line in the RC address:

"Without the Holy Spirit, the Church would be reduced to merely a human organization, weighed down by its own structures."

This is an idea that comes up frequently in Cardinal Ratzinger's interviews. RC2 does not recall seeing in print any high Church official more willing to speak candidly about what we might call the bureaucratic necessities of the Church --and how what are meant to be life-giving structures become hinderances that sink under their own weight when the people who work within those structures pay more attention to perpetuating the structure than to the holiness of the Church. In his recent book on the Church, Cardinal Ratzinger showed a great willingness to re-think the structure of, for example, the Roman Curia. He didn't make any specific criticism; he just pointed out that the structures that work in one age may be less satisfactory in another age, and the Church must never be merely a bureaucracy.

Of course, the Pope is not anti-structure --in part because they too are the way God has chosen to work. He continues, "... In the plans of God, the Spirit habitually makes use of human mediations to act in history. Precisely for this, Christ, who established the Church on the foundation of the Apostles closely around Peter, has also given it the gift of his Spirit, so that throughout the centuries he would be the comfort (cf. Jn 14: 16) and the guide to the entire truth (cf. Jn 16: 13). May the Ecclesial Community remain always open and docile to the action of the Holy Spirit, to be among men and women a credible sign and efficacious instrument of God's action!"