April 24, 2014

Catholic Online: An Orthodox Priest Reflects on the Retirement of Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict

Catholic Online published an essay I wrote on the abdication of Pope Benedict. Source: Catholic Online | By Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse NAPLES, FL. (Catholic Online) – Like almost everyone, the resignation of Pope Benedict came as a shock to Orthodox believers. Those of us who have watched Pope Benedict and his predecessor Pope John Paul II work to lessen the estrangement between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches hope that Pope Benedict’s successor will continue on the same path. Two things stand out in Pope Benedict’s relationship with the Orthodox Churches. First is his deep understanding of the Christian patrimony of Christendom. The Christian foundation of culture should be self-evident to most, but in our post-Christian (and poorly catechized) age our historical memory has grown increasingly dim. Religion vivifies culture. Christianity is the well from which meaning and purpose are drawn. That meaning and purpose shapes law, institutions, and the … [Read more...]

Orthodox and Catholics Face the Same Challenges

vis-vatican-information-service

Making common cause against secularism and other maladies of the modern era with the Catholic Church is a wise course. The Russian Orthodox Church approves (see my articles on Catholic Online). But how will Constantinople respond? Below is a press release where Pope Benedict sounds the same theme in a message to Pat. Bartholomew of Constantinople. It will be interesting to see what Constantinople's response will be, if any. Apart from environmental care, they have not addressed secularism, the demographic implosion of the West (including abortion), ethical issues, and other critical problem facing Western culture in any substantive or comprehensive ways in years. Care for the environment is close to Pat. Bartholomew's heart but even there most of the thinking remains trapped in the polemics of Progressive ideology (global warming, supporting international cap and trade legislation, embracing secular apocalyptic scenarios, and so forth), while the Vatican frames environmental care in … [Read more...]

A Russian in Rome [VIDEO]

benedict-hilarion

Source: Inside Vatican The end of state atheism in Russia in 1991 and the return to Christian faith in that country, at least in a modest way, in the years since — opinions on the extent of Russia's religious renewal are sharply divided — seemed something impossible in the 1960s, 1970, 1980s... Pope John Paul II fervently desired that change so that Europe might regain its spiritual health and "breathe with two lungs" — Eastern as well as Western, Greek as well as Latin, Orthodox as well as Catholic... despite all the centuries of division and mistrust since the "Great Schism" of 1054. In the long process of this new "breathing" a special moment occurred on September 29 at Castel Gandolfo outside of Rome. On the morning of September 29, Benedict XVI welcomed the Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Patriarchate of Moscow’s Department for External Church Relations — the equivalent of the "Foreign Minister" of the Russian … [Read more...]

Patsourakos: Catholic Church Must Be Serious in Defrocking Abusive Priests

Pope Benedict

From George Patsourakos' website Theology and Society. George is a commentator and contributor to the AOI Observer. I have only one quibble with this otherwise strong editorial. The problem of pedophilia (a misnomer, it is really pedastery) was not a "...result of the Catholic Church's policy of secrecy in which bishops transferred pedophile priests to different communities," but caused by the Catholic Church ordaining practicing homosexuals to the priesthood. Pope Benedict XVI this week in his end-of-the-year speech to Vatican cardinals and bishops said revelations of child abuse by Catholic priests in 2010 reached "an unimaginable dimension" that required the church to accept the "humiliation" as a call for renewal. At the same time, the pope said that society must share the blame for this phenomenon, because we are living in a society in which the mistreatment of children is "common." Blaming a secular society in which mistreatment of children is common, can only be … [Read more...]

A Holy Alliance between Rome and Moscow Is Born

Pope Benedict meets Abp. Hilarion in Rome

Again, almost incomprehensible just a few short years ago. Highlight: "The common objective: the "new evangelization" of Europe. A delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church visits the Vatican, which publishes an anthology of the patriarch's writings. A meeting between Kirill and Benedict XVI keeps getting closer." by Sandro Magister Chiesa Espresso ROME, May 24, 2010 – Benedict XVI will soon create a new "pontifical council" expressly dedicated to the "new evangelization." Not for mission countries where the congregation "de propaganda fide" is already at work. But for the countries of ancient Christian tradition that are today in danger of losing the faith. Pope Joseph Ratzinger wants to link his pontificate to this initiative. And this was the main topic that he discussed one morning in the spring of 2009, at Castel Gandolfo, with four prominent cardinals he had called for consultation: Camillo Ruini, Angelo Bagnasco, Christoph Schönborn, and Angelo Scola, the last being … [Read more...]

Vatican Hosts Russian Concert

Pope Benedict at Russian Concert

Pope John-Paul II, long before the fall of Communism said that the spiritual renewal of Western Europe would come from Russia. These were prophetic words as it turns out, but at the time many culture watchers thought they were the idealistic ramblings of a dreamer. Who would have thought just a few short decades ago the brutal tyranny of Communism would fall, collapsing under its own soul-stultifying weight? Who would have thought that the Russian Orthodox Church would emerge not only as the preserver of the culture of Christendom but also its guarantor as increasingly seems to be the case? This history may emerge as all the great narratives of martyrdom do: The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church and, now, two thousand years later, the Church becomes the protector of humane culture. +++++++++++++ CNEWA (See Met. Hilarion's comments.) VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The gentle notes of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Vocalise” wafted through the Vatican audience hall and carried with … [Read more...]