Benedict Sez

The Pope used yesterday's Angelus as an occasion to promote the new compendium of the Catechism. Has it really been a dozen years since the CCC was published? I still think of it as a new tool. I think the English translators quibbled so much that there was no English version until five years later, but still. . . . Anyway, one of my favorite passages of the Gospel comes in John 17, the middle of Jesus' so-called "high-priestly prayer" at the Last Supper. It is one passage where I don't have to apply Christ's words to me by extension, because he specifically prays not only for the apostles, but "for also for those who will believe in me through their word." So there, where Christ prays specifically for each of us, what does he pray for? Not that we will be honest, chaste, pious or any number of virtues he presumably does wish us to have. He prays "that they may be one." He prays this for a specific reason: Christian unity is to be the world's proof that Jesus is who he says he is ("that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me"). It is this passage more than any other that made me capitulate finally to Catholicism after a long hold-out period. I don't think it is any surprise that as Christianity has increasingly splintered, the world has lost its faith, and I feel certain this is something we Christians will answer for in the Judgment.
Which brings me back to B16 and his quest for unity. I hope I never become guilty of simply hijacking the Pope for my own causes, but I love his approach to ecumenism. It isn't some bureaucratic quest for consensus, still less his effort to assert papal authority where it has been rejected. Instead, he sees the need to present a coherent witness to the world. Hence, he promotes the Catechism and its compendium because unity of testimony is essential: "Cari fratelli e sorelle, quanto è necessario che, in quest’inizio del terzo millennio, l’intera comunità cristiana proclami, insegni e testimoni integralmente le verità della fede, della dottrina e della morale cattolica in maniera unanime e concorde!" Here's the Angelus, and while I'm at it, the link for the Peter & Paul homily. No English, but at least Spanish.