Potpourri of Popery, St. Athanasius Edition

Scourge of the Arians, pray for us! From an Easter letter (skipping over all the beautiful parts and cutting to the snark line):
You will not see anyone who is really striving after his advancement who is not given to spiritual reading. And as to him who neglects it, the fact will soon be observed by his progress.
Burn! But on to...
Papal Teaching
  • Sunday's Regina Caeli, for World Vocations Day, in which he asked for our prayers for the 22 priests he'd ordained earlier in the day --and for vocations, generally.
  • Unofficial translation of the homily is here (scroll to #7246). Note to self: learn Greek.
    Jesus speaks of Himself as the Good Shepherd who gives eternal life to His sheep (cfr Jn 10,28). The image of the shepherd is well rooted in the Old Testament and dear to the Christian tradition. The title 'shepherd of Israel' is given by the Prophets to the future descendant of David, and also has an undoubted messianic relevance (cfr Ez 34,23). Jesus is the true Shepherd of Israel, in that He is the Son of He who wished to share the condition of human beings to give them new life and lead them to salvation. Significantly, to the term 'shepherd', the evangelist adds the adjective kalos, 'beautiful', which he uses only to refer to Jesus and His mission. Even in the account of the marriage at Cana, the adjective kalos is used twice to describe the wine offered by Jesus, and it is easy to see in that the symbol of the good wine of messianic times (cfr Jn 2,10).

Where is that in the English versions? But I digress. One of the 22 ordinands was the son of long-time papal photographer Arturo Mari. How nice!

  • I guess Origen's rehabilitation is complete --B16 devoted a 2nd Audience to him today. (When I was an undergrad, there was still a frisson of unorthodoxy associated with him --the Prof. felt he had to justify assigning him!)
  • The Pope also mentioned his upcoming trip to Brazil (no English translation provided for?)

I think you'll enjoy reading two sets of personal remarks. At the luncheon for his 80th birthday. And with a delegation from his old university. This last is very personal, but he also makes an interesting remark about the status of theology, drawing on the hiring process when he was a professor:

It was very interesting that when, for example, a chair of mathematics or Assyriology or the physics of solid bodies or any other subject was to be assigned, the contribution from the other faculties was minimal, and everything was resolved quite quickly because almost no one dared to speak out. The situation in the humanistic disciplines was rather different and when the chairs of theology came up in both faculties, in the end, everyone had their say.

Thus, it was evident that all the professors of the University felt in some way competent in theology; they had the feeling that they could and should participate in the decision. Theology was obviously very dear to them.

Consequently, on the one hand it could be perceived that their colleagues in the other faculties in a certain way considered that theology was the heart of the University, and on the other, that theology was precisely something that concerned everyone, in which all felt involved and somehow also knew that they were competent. In other words, come to think of it, this means that precisely in the debate concerning the chairs of theology, the University could be experienced as a university. I am pleased to learn that these cooptations [sic? cooperations?] exist today, more than in the past, although TĪ‹bingen has always striven for this.

I do not know whether the Leibniz-Kolleg of which I was a member still exists; in any case, the modern University runs a considerable risk of becoming, as it were, a complex of advanced study institutes externally and institutionally united rather than being able to create the interior unity of universitas.

He's much more charitable than I am; I would have read that as people know their ignorance of science, but think they're qualified to remark about theology when they're innocent of having read anything in the field. But his way is better.

Then there's an address to a parish pastoral council, in which B16 says every person has a mission from God. Also:

A society where Christian conscience is no longer alive loses its bearings; it no longer knows where to go, what it can do, what it cannot do, and ends up in emptiness, it fails. Only if a living awareness of the faith illumines our hearts can we also build a just society.

It is not the Magisterium that imposes doctrine. It is the Magisterium that helps enable the conscience itself to hear God's voice, to know what is good, what is the Lord's will. It is only an aid so that personal responsibility, nourished by a lively conscience, may function well and thus contribute to ensuring that justice is truly present in our society: justice within ourselves and universal justice for all our brothers and sisters in the world today.

Finally, here are the guidlines for the next Synod of Bishops. Scroll around --the questions they are asking themselves are interesting. Also, Benedict has made a significant rules change, as the link explains. Seems he may agree with some of the progressives who complain of lack of collegiality within the Church.

I think I'll skip the Elsewhere for this week. This post is long enough. Although we do have a new Bishop of Dallas.